In Vitro Adherence of Lactobacillus Species to Vaginal Epithelial Cells

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Dec 1;153(7):740-3. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(85)90336-9.


Because of the reported use of yogurt douches for the treatment of vaginitis, the adherence of Lactobacillus species to normal human vaginal epithelial cells was tested by in vitro methods. L. acidophilus and L. bulgaricus isolated from three commercial yogurts were compared to L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, L. cellobiosus, and L. casei isolated from clinical specimens and from American Type Culture Collection cultures. L. acidophilus isolated from Lactinex tablets was also tested. No significant difference was found among the 19 clinical isolates, the American Type Culture Collection cultures, and the Lactinex isolate, but all showed significantly higher (p less than 0.01) adherence than any Lactobacillus isolated from yogurt. The presence of Gardnerella vaginalis, which adheres strongly to vaginal epithelial cells, was found to interfere with the adherence of lactobacilli from all sources studied.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Epithelium / microbiology
  • Female
  • Giardia / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / physiology
  • Vagina / cytology
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Yogurt