Lactobacillus species are the dominant microorganisms in the vaginal microbiota of healthy women and play an important role in the defence against pathogens. This study aimed to evaluate probiotic potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strain P1 isolated from healthy woman's vaginal discharge for its further utilization as a promising candidate strain in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis caused by Gardnerella vaginalis.
Ten lactobacilli strains from a woman's vaginal discharge were evaluated for their probiotic potential, including growth capacity at different pH levels (pH 3.5-4.5), acid production, hydrogen peroxide production capacity, antibacterial activity and susceptibility to antibiotics. Moreover, in vitro safety assay haemolytic activity and mutagenicity were investigated for safety assessment. In vivo Caenorhabditis elegans infection model was used to investigate the anti-infection effect of selected isolates. We found that lactobacilli strain P1 showed strong growth ability in low acid environment, produced acid, hydrogen peroxide, had the strongest antibacterial activity against G. vaginalis and was highly susceptible to the tested antibiotics. When assayed for the safety, strain P1 showed no haemolytic activity and had no effect of mutagenicity. Moreover, P1 significantly increased the lifespan of C. elegans against G. vaginalis infection. Combined with the results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, morphological and physiological characteristic, the strain was identified as Lactiplantibacillus plantarum.
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strain P1 proves to be a promising candidate strain in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis caused by G. vaginalis.
Conventional antibiotic therapy for bacterial vaginosis has led to the accelerated process of bacterial drug resistance. Probiotics are potentially an alternative method for bacterial vaginosis therapy. This finding provides bacterial resources for keeping pathogens away from the vagina. We believe L. plantarum P1 may be used as vaginal probiotics and be useful to prevent or treat bacterial vaginitis.