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Sex Transm Dis. 2015 Jul;42(7):358-63. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000298.

Hydrogen Peroxide-Producing Lactobacilli Are Associated With Lower Levels of Vaginal Interleukin-1β, Independent of Bacterial Vaginosis.

Author information

1
From the *Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; †Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington, Boston, MA; and ‡Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-producing lactobacilli in the vagina is associated with decreased rates of preterm birth and HIV acquisition. We hypothesize that this is due to immunomodulatory effects of these species.

METHODS:

Concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, and human β-defensin 2 were quantified from vaginal swabs from 4 groups of women: women with and without bacterial vaginosis (BV) by Nugent score, further stratified by detection of H2O2-producing lactobacilli by semiquantitative culture. Ten quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays characterized the presence and quantity of select Lactobacillus and BV-associated species in each group. Levels of immune markers and bacteria were compared between the 4 groups using analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney U, or χ tests.

RESULTS:

Swabs from 110 women from 4 groups were included: 26 had a normal Nugent score (BV-), and no H2O2-producing lactobacilli detected (H2O2-); 47 were BV-, H2O2+; 27 BV+, H2O2-; and 10 BV+, H2O2+. The groups were similar in age, marital status, and reproductive history, but not ethnicity: the BV-, H2O2- group had more white participants (P = 0.02). In women with and without BV, IL-1β was lower in the H2O2+ groups. Human β-defensin 2 was lowest in BV+ H2O2- women and highest in BV-, H2O2-. Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor was lower in women with BV and did not differ by the presence of H2O2-producing lactobacilli. In regression analysis, higher quantities of Lactobacillus crispatus were associated with lower quantities of IL-1β. Detection and quantity of BV-associated species by quantitative polymerase chain reaction was significantly different between women with and without BV, but not between women with and without H2O2-producing lactobacilli within those groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

The presence of H2O2-producing lactobacilli is associated with lower levels of some vaginal proinflammatory cytokines, even in women with BV.

PMID:
26222747
PMCID:
PMC4520248
DOI:
10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000298
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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