London, Feb 19:
In path-breaking research, scientists are developing a vaginal device containing ‘good’ probiotic bacteria for the treatment of vaginal thrush.
Vaginal thrush is a common condition caused by a yeast infection in the vagina and surrounding area.
This approach is likely to be a viable alternative to using precious antimicrobial drugs.
“We have all heard of using natural yoghurt to manage vaginal thrush as an alternative to antimicrobial medicines, but we wanted to test whether the type of probiotic bacteria found in yoghurt could actually kill or restrict the growth of vaginal infection,” explained M. Cristina Verdenelli at Universita di Camerino, Italy.
“The results in the lab have been very good and we have moved on to test our formulation in patients,” he added.
The team tested five strains of lactobacilli for their antimicrobial potential against the most common type of vaginal infections, Candida.
The team were looking for two main characteristics of the bacteria: their ability to produce a substances that would likely kill the candida and their ability to grow on human cells alongside the yeast infection.
Of the five strains they tested, the Synbio formulation had the best overall characteristics – adhering well to human cells, growing alongside candida, and producing hydrogen peroxide to kill the yeast cells.
With the increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance, it is vital to consider alternative methods of preventing and control infection, said the research published in the Society for Applied Microbiology’s Journal of Applied Microbiology.