Vaginal lactobacilli in adolescents: Presence and relationship to local and systemic immunity, and to bacterial vaginosis

Martha I. Alvarez-Olmos, Melissa M. Barousse, Latta Rajan, Barbara J. Van Der Pol, Dennis Fortenberry, Donald Orr, Paul L. Fidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to survey middle adolescents for the presence of vaginal lactobacilli, lactobacilli-specific immune sensitization, and correlates of vaginal immunity with lactobacilli and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Methods: A cohort of 89 female adolescents were evaluated for the presence of vaginal lactobacilli species, H2O 2-producing species, and the prevalence of BV. Cytokines and antibodies in cervicovaginal lavages were detected and peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) responses to Lactobacillus crispatus were evaluated. Results: The majority of lactobacillus species were H2O2-producing and predominated by Lactobacillus acidophilus. PBL responses to lactobacilli were detectable in 50% of the cohort. BV was present in 36% of adolescents and negatively correlated with the presence of vaginal lactobacilli. The majority of locally associated cytokines and antibodies were similar in those with or without BV or lactobacilli. Conclusions: Adolescents harbor vaginal lactobacilli with relationships to BV along with lactobacilli-specific immune sensitization, but with few correlates of local immunity to lactobacilli or BV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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