Two strains of Lactobacillus crispatus (15L08 and 21L07) and one strain of Lactobacillus jensenii (5L08) were selected from amongst 100 isolates from the vaginas of healthy premenopausal women for properties relevant to mucosal colonization and the production of H2O2 and/or bacteriocin-like compound. All three strains self-aggregated and adhered to vaginal epithelial cells, displacing well-known vaginal pathogens, such as Gardnerella vaginalis and Candida albicans. Lactobacillus crispatus 15L08 was characterized as a potential H2O2 producer. A high level of bacteriocin-like compound was synthesized by L. jensenii 5L08, with a bactericidal mode of action for G. vaginalis, C. albicans and Escherichia coli. However, H2O2-dependent activity alone was not sufficient to inhibit the growth of C. albicans. Simultaneous actions of H2O2 and bacteriocin-like compound produced by lactobacilli may be important for antagonizing pathogenic bacteria. These strains of lactobacilli may be excellent candidates for eventual use as probiotics to restore the normal microbial communities in the vaginal ecosystem.
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