Lactobacilli for prevention of urogenital infections: A review

G. Marelli, E. Papaleo, A. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urogenital infections are a worldwide shared problem that represent the most common reason for a woman to decide to visit to gynaecologist or urologist. The origin of the uropathogens in uncomplicated urinary tract infection and bacterial vaginosis is the fecal flora. Key element of pathogenesis namely the ability of the pathogens to survive exposure to the microflora that exists on the external urogenitalia, in which lactobacilli predominate. Some health food appear to contain ≥ 1 common Lactobacillus strain; L. rhamnosus GR-1 was found to be the best of a group of 34 Lactobacillus strains isolated from dairy, poultry, health food. Recently has been reported the first clinical evidence that probiotic lactobacilli can be delivered to the vagina following oral intake. These L. strains possess the ability to adhere to and colonize tissues and the capacity to inhibit the pathogenesis of disease-causing organisms that make them effective probiotic agents. In particularly, two strains, Lactobacillus GG and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 appear to be effective at colonizing and protecting the intestine and urogenital tract, respectively, against microbial infection. Treating and preventing urogenital infection by instillating probiotic organisms has great appeal to patients and caregivers. The ability to administer orally L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14, which colonize the intestine and vagina, provides a major step in the right direction for patients as it potentially allows for the self administration of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Lactobacilli
  • Urinary tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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