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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 May;41(5):1881-7.

DNA fingerprinting of Lactobacillus crispatus strain CTV-05 by repetitive element sequence-based PCR analysis in a pilot study of vaginal colonization.

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Magee-Womens Research Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Lactobacillus crispatus is one of the predominant hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-producing species found in the vagina and is under development as a probiotic for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. In this study, we assessed whether DNA fingerprinting by repetitive element sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) can be used to distinguish the capsule strain of L. crispatus (CTV-05) from other endogenous strains as well as other species of vaginal lactobacilli. Vaginal and rectal lactobacilli were identified to the species level by using whole-chromosome probe DNA hybridization. The DNAs from L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, and an as-yet-unnamed H(2)O(2)-negative Lactobacillus species designated 1086V were subjected to rep-PCR. The results of gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining of the DNA fingerprints obtained were compared. L. crispatus CTV-05 had a unique DNA fingerprint compared to all other lactobacilli. DNA fingerprints for 27 production lots of L. crispatus sampled from 1994 through 2001 were identical to that of the original strain isolated in 1993, suggesting strain stability. In a pilot study of nine women, this DNA fingerprinting method distinguished CTV-05 from other endogenous vaginal lactobacilli prior to and after vaginal capsule use. rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting is useful for strain typing and for evaluating longitudinal loss or acquisition of vaginal lactobacilli used as probiotics.

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