Is hydrogen peroxide production a false lead in selecting vaginal | 23011
Journal of Probiotics & Health

Journal of Probiotics & Health
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-8901

+44 1223 790975

Is hydrogen peroxide production a false lead in selecting vaginal lactobacilli for probiotic development

2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Probiotics & Functional Foods

October 23-25, 2013 Holiday Inn Orlando International Airport, Orlando, FL, USA

D. Elizabeth O?Hanlon

Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Prob Health

Abstract :

Women whose vaginal lactobacilli are hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) producers are at less risk of reproductive tract infections than women whose lactobacilli are non-producers. This epidemiological correlation, together with in vitro observations of H 2 O 2 producers inactivating pathogens, has made H 2 O 2 production a prime criterion for selecting lactobacilli strains to be developed as vaginal probiotics. However, epidemiological correlation does not imply causation, and the in vitro observations of pathogen inactivation were made under aerobic conditions, in the absence of antioxidants, and disregarded activation of lactobacilli themselves. Whereas in vivo : 1. Lactobacilli do not produce H 2 O 2 under the hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions that usually prevail in the vagina. 2. The high antioxidant capacity of cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) means that little H 2 O 2 accumulates even under aerobic conditions. The low concentration of H 2 O 2 that does accumulate in CVF does not inactivate pathogens. 3) When enough exogenous H 2 O 2 is supplied to inactivate pathogens, vaginal lactobacilli are also inactivated. We conclude that H 2 O 2 production by vaginal lactobacilli is implausible as a mechanism of protection against reproductive tract infections, and therefore an unsound basis for probiotic selection. We hypothesize, instead, that H 2 O 2 production correlates with another characteristic that does provide in vivo protection. Alternatively, H 2 O 2 producers may be more sensitive to the presence of some pathogens; in this case, H 2 O 2 producers would correlate with the absence of these pathogens, without implying that H 2 O 2 producers protect against those pathogens.

Biography :

Deirdre Elizabeth O?Hanlon is from the Republic of Ireland. She received her B.S. in biochemistry from Wells College, Aurora NY, and her Ph.D. in biology from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD in the United States. Her doctoral research focused on the different parameters for pathogen inactivation by vaginal lactobacilli in vivo versus in vitro . She is currently continuing her research in the university?s Department of Biophysics, looking at probiotic development and other means of supplementing women?s mucosal and microbiotal protection against reproductive tract infections. She is the author or co-author of four peer reviewed articles publishing her findings.