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

Academic Article


  • 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.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Alvarez-Olmos MI; Barousse MM; Rajan L; Van Der Pol BJ; Fortenberry D; Orr D; Fidel PL
  • Start Page

  • 393
  • End Page

  • 400
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 7