Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 on the ability of Candida albicans to infect cells and induce inflammation

Microbiol Immunol. 2009 Sep;53(9):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2009.00154.x.


Vulvovaginal candidiasis, a high prevailing infection worldwide, is mainly caused by Candida albicans. Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 have been previously shown to be useful as adjuvants in the treatment of women with VVC. In order to demonstrate and better understand the anti-Candida activity of the probiotic microorganisms in an in vitro model simulating vaginal candidiasis, a human vaginal epithelial cell line (VK2/E6E7) was infected with C.albicans 3153a and then challenged with probiotic L. rhamnosus GR-1 and/or L. reuteri RC-14 or their respective CFS (alone or in combination). At each time point (0, 6, 12 and 24 hr), numbers of yeast, lactobacilli and viable VK2/E6E7 cells were determined and, at 0, 6 and 12 hr, the supernatants were measured for cytokine levels. We found that C. albicans induced a significant increase in IL-1alpha and IL-8 production by VK2/E6E7 cells. After lactobacilli challenge, epithelial cells did not alter IL-6, IL-1alpha, RANTES and VEGF levels. However, CFS from the probiotic microorganisms up-regulated IL-8 and IP-10 levels secreted by VK2/E6E7 cells infected with C. albicans. At 24 hr of co-incubation, L. reuteri RC-14 alone and in combination with L. rhamnosus GR-1 decreased the yeast population recoverable from the cells. In conclusion, L. reuteri RC-14 alone and together with L. rhamnosus GR-1 have the potential to inhibit the yeast growth and their CFS may up-regulate IL-8 and IP-10 secretion by VK2/E6E7 cells, which could possibly have played an important role in helping to clear VVC in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / immunology*
  • Candida albicans / physiology
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / immunology*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / microbiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus / immunology*
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus / physiology
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri / immunology*
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri / physiology
  • Models, Biological


  • Cytokines