Author(s): Toms MS, Claudia Otero M, Ocaa V, Elena NaderMacas M
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Abstract Restoration of the balance of different ecological niches has been proposed as a way to control the income of pathogenic microorganisms. The genus Lactobacillus has been used in different human and animal tracts as probiotic microorganisms with this objective in mind. The characteristics of the strains proposed as probiotics have been published or patented under the process of elaboration of different types of products. One of the mechanisms suggested to control the vaginal ecosystem is the production of antagonistic substances (lactic acid, bacteriocins, or H2O2). The H2O2-producing microorganisms present in the vagina of healthy women have been suggested as some of the bacteria responsible for maintenance of ecological balance, mainly in pregnant women. The absence of these microorganisms is related to a higher risk of: bacterial vaginosis, recurrent urinary tract infections by Escherichia coli, and acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Bauer has proposed that H2O2-producing lactobacilli also might exert control over vaginal cancer through specific interactions of reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide anion, hydroxyl radicals, and hypochlorous acid. The conversion of H2O2 into more toxic compounds during the oxidative process is potentiated by peroxidase and halures. This enzyme and some halures, such as chloride and bromide, are present in vaginal washes in sufficient amounts to allow an optimal environment for successful inhibition of pathogens. In vitro tests provide an approach for determining the ability of lactobacilli to produce H2O2. The H2O2 amounts produced in such systems are probably not a direct reflection of what happens in the vaginal tract of women or animals, which is not yet know. However, there is a registered patent with an H2O2-generating L. crispatus strain, also supporting the use of H2O2-producing lactobacilli to restore the vaginal ecosystem.
This article was published in Methods Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques