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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 185-192

Relationship between lactobacilli and opportunistic bacterial pathogens associated with vaginitis

Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Babylon University, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Alaa H Al-Charrakh
Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Babylon University, Hilla
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Vaginitis, is an infectious inflammation of the vaginal mucosa, which sometimes involves the vulva. The balance of the vaginal flora is maintained by the Lactobacilli and its protective and probiotic role in treating and preventing vaginal infection by producing antagonizing compounds which are regarded as safe for humans. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective role of Lactobacilli against common bacterial opportunistic pathogens in vaginitis and study the effects of some antibiotics on Lactobacilli isolates. Materials and Methods : In this study (110) vaginal swabs were obtained from women suffering from vaginitis who admitted to Babylon Hospital of Maternity and Paediatrics in Babylon province, Iraq. The study involved the role of intrauterine device among married women with vaginitis and also involved isolation of opportunistic bacterial isolates among pregnant and non pregnant women. This study also involved studying probiotic role of Lactobacilli by production of some defense factors like hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocin, and lactic acid. Results: Results revealed that a total of 130 bacterial isolates were obtained. Intrauterine device was a predisposing factor for vaginitis. The most common opportunistic bacterial isolates were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. All Lactobacilli were hydrogen peroxide producers while some isolates were bacteriocin producers that inhibited some of opportunistic pathogens (S. aureus, E. coli). Lactobacilli were sensitive to erythromycin while 93.3% of them were resistant to ciprofloxacin and (40%, 53.3%) of them were resistant to amoxicillin and gentamycin respectively. Results revealed that there was an inverse relationship between Lactobacilli presence and organisms causing vaginitis. This may be attributed to the production of defense factors by Lactobacilli. Conclusion: The types of antibiotics used to treat vaginitis must be very selective in order not to kill the beneficial bacteria (Lactobacilli) that help in preservation of vaginal health and ecosystem as being one of the probiotic bacteria.

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