Purpose: Lactobacillus crispatus strain CTV-05 is a vaginal probiotic proposed for use in women with recurrent urinary tract infection to reduce vaginal colonization with Escherichia coli and the risk of urinary tract infection. However, the ability of this probiotic strain to adhere to the target mucosa, vaginal epithelial cells, has not been assessed in women with recurrent urinary tract infection. We measured the adherence of L. crispatus strain CTV-05 to vaginal epithelial cells collected from more than 100 premenopausal women with (cases) and without (controls) a history of recurrent urinary tract infection. We also examined the effects of relevant host factors on bacterial adherence.
Materials and methods: Bacterial adherence assays were performed by combining L. crispatus CTV-05 with exfoliated vaginal epithelial cells collected from 51 case women and 51 controls.
Results: L. crispatus CTV-05 adhered in high numbers to vaginal epithelial cells from women with recurrent urinary tract infection (mean adherence of 50.5 lactobacilli per vaginal epithelial cell) and controls (mean adherence of 39.4 lactobacilli per vaginal epithelial cell). Adherence was significantly higher using vaginal epithelial cells from women with a maternal history of urinary tract infection (p = 0.036) and a nonsecretor phenotype (p < 0.001), but was not significantly affected by recent spermicide use, oral contraceptive use, menstrual cycle phase or sexual activity.
Conclusions: L. crispatus strain CTV-05 is highly adherent to vaginal epithelial cells collected from a large sample of premenopausal women with or without a history of recent recurrent urinary tract infection. These data strongly support further evaluation of this probiotic in clinical trials of women with recurrent urinary tract infection.