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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Randomized open-label pilot study of the influence of probiotics and the gut microbiome on toxic metal levels in tanzanian pregnant women and school children.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 10-09-2014
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Exposure to environmental toxins is a 21st century global health problem that is often the result of dietary intake. Although efforts are made to reduce dietary toxin levels, they are often unsuccessful, warranting research into novel methods to reduce host exposure. Food-grade microbes that can be delivered to the gastrointestinal tract and that are capable of sequestering toxins present a safe and cost-effective intervention. We sought to investigate the potential for probiotic-supplemented yogurt to lower heavy metal levels in at-risk populations of pregnant women and in children in Mwanza, Tanzania, and to examine the microbiome in relation to toxin levels. Two populations suspected to have high toxic metal exposures were studied. A group of 44 school-aged children was followed over 25 days, and 60 pregnant women were followed over their last two trimesters until birth. A yogurt containing 10(10) CFU Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 per 250 g was administered, while control groups received either whole milk or no intervention. Changes in blood metal levels were assessed, and the gut microbiomes of the children were profiled by analyzing 16S rRNA sequencing via the Ion Torrent platform. The children and pregnant women in the study were found to have elevated blood levels of lead and mercury compared to age- and sex-matched Canadians. Consumption of probiotic yogurt had a protective effect against further increases in mercury (3.2 nmol/liter; P = 0.035) and arsenic (2.3 nmol/liter; P = 0.011) blood levels in the pregnant women, but this trend was not statistically significant in the children. Elevated blood lead was associated with increases in Succinivibrionaceae and Gammaproteobacteria relative abundance levels in stool.
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A systems biology approach investigating the effect of probiotics on the vaginal microbiome and host responses in a double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of post-menopausal women.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 08-15-2014
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A lactobacilli dominated microbiota in most pre and post-menopausal women is an indicator of vaginal health. The objective of this double blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study was to evaluate in 14 post-menopausal women with an intermediate Nugent score, the effect of 3 days of vaginal administration of probiotic L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 (2.5×109 CFU each) on the microbiota and host response. The probiotic treatment did not result in an improved Nugent score when compared to when placebo. Analysis using 16S rRNA sequencing and metabolomics profiling revealed that the relative abundance of Lactobacillus was increased following probiotic administration as compared to placebo, which was weakly associated with an increase in lactate levels. A decrease in Atopobium was also observed. Analysis of host responses by microarray showed the probiotics had an immune-modulatory response including effects on pattern recognition receptors such as TLR2 while also affecting epithelial barrier function. This is the first study to use an interactomic approach for the study of vaginal probiotic administration in post-menopausal women. It shows that in some cases multifaceted approaches are required to detect the subtle molecular changes induced by the host to instillation of probiotic strains.
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Microbes Central to Human Reproduction.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2014
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As studies uncover the breadth of microbes associated with human life, opportunities will emerge to manipulate and augment their functions in ways that improve health and longevity. From involvement in the complexities of reproduction and fetal/infant development, to delaying the onset of disease, and indeed countering many maladies, microbes offer hope for human well-being. Evidence is emerging to suggest that microbes may play a beneficial role in body sites traditionally viewed as being sterile. Although further evidence is required, we propose that much of medical dogma is about to change significantly through recognition and understanding of these hitherto unrecognized microbe-host interactions. A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. This article summarizes some of the main aspects of these discussions.
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Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic.
Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2014
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An expert panel was convened in October 2013 by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) to discuss the field of probiotics. It is now 13 years since the definition of probiotics and 12 years after guidelines were published for regulators, scientists and industry by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the WHO (FAO/WHO). The FAO/WHO definition of a probiotic--"live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host"--was reinforced as relevant and sufficiently accommodating for current and anticipated applications. However, inconsistencies between the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation Report and the FAO/WHO Guidelines were clarified to take into account advances in science and applications. A more precise use of the term 'probiotic' will be useful to guide clinicians and consumers in differentiating the diverse products on the market. This document represents the conclusions of the ISAPP consensus meeting on the appropriate use and scope of the term probiotic.
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African fermented foods and probiotics.
Int. J. Food Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2014
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Africa has an age old history of production of traditional fermented foods and is perhaps the continent with the richest variety of lactic acid fermented foods. These foods have a large impact on the nutrition, health and socio-economy of the people of the continent, often plagued by war, drought, famine and disease. Sub-Saharan Africa is the world's region with the highest percentage of chronically malnourished people and high child mortality. Further developing of traditional fermented foods with added probiotic health features would be an important contribution towards reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals of eradication of poverty and hunger, reduction in child mortality rates and improvement of maternal health. Specific probiotic strains with documented health benefits are sparsely available in Africa and not affordable to the majority of the population. Furthermore, they are not used in food fermentations. If such probiotic products could be developed especially for household food preparation, such as cereal or milk foods, it could make a profound impact on the health and well-being of adults and children. Suitable strains need to be chosen and efforts are needed to produce strains to make products which will be available for clinical studies. This can gauge the impact of probiotics on consumers' nutrition and health, and increase the number of people who can benefit.
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Can prebiotics and probiotics improve therapeutic outcomes for undernourished individuals?
Gut Microbes
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2014
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It has become clear in recent years that the human intestinal microbiota plays an important role in maintaining health and thus is an attractive target for clinical interventions. Scientists and clinicians have become increasingly interested in assessing the ability of probiotics and prebiotics to enhance the nutritional status of malnourished children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with non-communicable disease-associated malnutrition. A workshop was held by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), drawing on the knowledge of experts from industry, medicine, and academia, with the objective to assess the status of our understanding of the link between the microbiome and under-nutrition, specifically in relation to probiotic and prebiotic treatments for under-nourished individuals. These discussions led to four recommendations:   (1) The categories of malnourished individuals need to be differentiated To improve treatment outcomes, subjects should first be categorized based on the cause of malnutrition, additional health-concerns, differences in the gut microbiota, and sociological considerations. (2) Define a baseline "healthy" gut microbiota for each category Altered nutrient requirement (for example, in pregnancy and old age) and individual variation may change what constitutes a healthy gut microbiota for the individual. (3) Perform studies using model systems to test the effectiveness of potential probiotics and prebiotics against these specific categories These should illustrate how certain microbiota profiles can be altered, as members of different categories may respond differently to the same treatment. (4) Perform robust well-designed human studies with probiotics and/or prebiotics, with appropriate, defined primary outcomes and sample size These are critical to show efficacy and understand responder and non-responder outcomes. It is hoped that these recommendations will lead to new approaches that combat malnutrition. This report is the result of discussion during an expert workshop titled "How do the microbiota and probiotics and/or prebiotics influence poor nutritional status?" held during the 10th Meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) in Cork, Ireland from October 1-3, 2012. The complete list of workshop attendees is shown in Table 1.
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Probiotic administration attenuates myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure after myocardial infarction in the rat.
Circ Heart Fail
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2014
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Probiotics are extensively used to promote gastrointestinal health, and emerging evidence suggests that their beneficial properties can extend beyond the local environment of the gut. Here, we determined whether oral probiotic administration can alter the progression of postinfarction heart failure.
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Microbiota of human breast tissue.
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2014
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In recent years, a greater appreciation for the microbes inhabiting human body sites has emerged. In the female mammary gland, milk has been shown to contain bacterial species, ostensibly reaching the ducts from the skin. We decided to investigate whether there is a microbiome within the mammary tissue. Using 16S rRNA sequencing and culture, we analyzed breast tissue from 81 women with and without cancer in Canada and Ireland. A diverse population of bacteria was detected within tissue collected from sites all around the breast in women aged 18 to 90, not all of whom had a history of lactation. The principal phylum was Proteobacteria. The most abundant taxa in the Canadian samples were Bacillus (11.4%), Acinetobacter (10.0%), Enterobacteriaceae (8.3%), Pseudomonas (6.5%), Staphylococcus (6.5%), Propionibacterium (5.8%), Comamonadaceae (5.7%), Gammaproteobacteria (5.0%), and Prevotella (5.0%). In the Irish samples the most abundant taxa were Enterobacteriaceae (30.8%), Staphylococcus (12.7%), Listeria welshimeri (12.1%), Propionibacterium (10.1%), and Pseudomonas (5.3%). None of the subjects had signs or symptoms of infection, but the presence of viable bacteria was confirmed in some samples by culture. The extent to which these organisms play a role in health or disease remains to be determined.
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Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant prevents lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm birth and reduces inflammation in pregnant CD-1 mice.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant (GR-1 SN) on lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm birth (PTB) and outputs of cytokines, chemokines, and progesterone in pregnant CD-1 mice.
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Selective target inactivation rather than global metabolic dormancy causes antibiotic tolerance in uropathogens.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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Persister cells represent a multidrug-tolerant (MDT), physiologically distinct subpopulation of bacteria. The ability of these organisms to survive lethal antibiotic doses raises concern over their potential role in chronic disease, such as recurrent urinary tract infection (RUTI). Persistence is believed to be conveyed through global metabolic dormancy, which yields organisms unresponsive to external stimuli. However, recent studies have contested this stance. Here, various antibiotics that target different cellular processes were used to dissect the activity of transcription, translation, and peptidoglycan turnover in persister cells. Differential susceptibility patterns were found in type I and type II persisters, and responses differed between Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Escherichia coli uropathogens. Further, SOS-deficient strains were sensitized to ciprofloxacin, suggesting DNA gyrase activity in persisters and indicating the importance of active DNA repair systems for ciprofloxacin tolerance. These results indicate that global dormancy per se cannot sufficiently account for antibiotic tolerance. Rather, the activity of individual cellular processes dictates multidrug tolerance in an antibiotic-specific fashion. Furthermore, the susceptibility patterns of persisters depended on their mechanisms of onset, with subinhibitory antibiotic pretreatments selectively shutting down cognate targets and increasing the persister fraction against the same agent. Interestingly, antibiotics targeting transcription and translation enhanced persistence against multiple agents indirectly related to these processes. Conducting these assays with uropathogenic E. coli isolated from RUTI patients revealed an enriched persister fraction compared to organisms cleared with standard antibiotic therapy. This finding suggests that persister traits are either selected for during prolonged antibiotic treatment or initially contribute to therapy failure.
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Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Profiles of Cytokine, Chemokine, and Growth Factors Produced by Human Decidual Cells Are Altered by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 Supernatant.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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The aim of this study was to assess the effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant (GR-1SN) on secretion profiles of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors from primary cultures of human decidual cells. Lipopolysaccharide significantly increased the output of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1B, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12p70, IL-15, IL-17A, interferon gamma [IFN-?], and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]); anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1RN, IL-4, IL-9, and IL-10); chemokines (IL-8, eotaxin, IFN-inducible protein 10 [IP-10], monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1], macrophage inflammatory protein-1? [MIP-1?], macrophage inflammatory protein-1? [MIP-1?], and regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted [RANTES]); and growth factors (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [CSF] 3, CSF-2, and vascular endothelial growth factor A [VEGFA]). Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1SN alone significantly increased CSF-3, MIP-1? MIP-1?, and RANTES but decreased IL-15 and IP-10 output. The GR-1SN also significantly or partially reduced LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokines TNF, IFN-?, IL-1?, IL-2 IL-6, IL-12p70, IL-15, IL-17, and IP-10; partially reduced LPS-induced anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-1RN, IL-4 and IL-10, and LPS-induced VEGFA output but did not affect CSF-3, MIP-1?, MIP-1?, MCP-1, IL-8, and IL-9. Our results demonstrate that GR-1SN attenuates the inflammatory responses to LPS by human decidual cells, suggesting its potential role in ameliorating intrauterine infection.
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Modulating the vaginal microbiome: the need for a bridge between science and practice.
Semin. Reprod. Med.
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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Infections of the urinary and reproductive tracts continue to afflict hundreds of millions of women and girls each year. For those fortunate enough to have access to medical care, the diagnostic and treatment measures used on them have changed little in 40 years and remain far from adequate. The development of alternatives, such as probiotics, has been hindered by lack of funding, but now face bureaucratic barriers that reflect an outdated regulatory system more concerned with policies than care for the patient. The technological advances emerging from human microbiome studies are making it possible to generate a completely new understanding of how microbes interact with the host, what influences them, and when the result is an aberration requiring intervention. But until bridges are built between scientific progress and practice, it is women and girls who will continue to receive suboptimal care for their often persistent and debilitating conditions.
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Effect of chemotherapy on the microbiota and metabolome of human milk, a case report.
Microbiome
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Human milk is an important source of bacteria for the developing infant and has been shown to influence the bacterial composition of the neonatal gut, which in turn can affect disease risk later in life. Human milk is also an important source of nutrients, influencing bacterial composition but also directly affecting the host. While recent studies have emphasized the adverse effects of antibiotic therapy on the infant microbiota, the effects of maternal chemotherapy have not been previously studied. Here we report the effects of drug administration on the microbiota and metabolome of human milk.
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Characterization of the vaginal microbiota of healthy Canadian women through the menstrual cycle.
Microbiome
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The vaginal microbial community plays a vital role in maintaining women's health. Understanding the precise bacterial composition is challenging because of the diverse and difficult-to-culture nature of many bacterial constituents, necessitating culture-independent methodology. During a natural menstrual cycle, physiological changes could have an impact on bacterial growth, colonization, and community structure. The objective of this study was to assess the stability of the vaginal microbiome of healthy Canadian women throughout a menstrual cycle by using cpn60-based microbiota analysis. Vaginal swabs from 27 naturally cycling reproductive-age women were collected weekly through a single menstrual cycle. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to amplify the universal target region of the cpn60 gene and generate amplicons representative of the microbial community. Amplicons were pyrosequenced, assembled into operational taxonomic units, and analyzed. Samples were also assayed for total 16S rRNA gene content and Gardnerella vaginalis by quantitative PCR and screened for the presence of Mollicutes by using family and genus-specific PCR.
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Harnessing microbiome and probiotic research in sub-Saharan Africa: recommendations from an African workshop.
Microbiome
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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To augment capacity-building for microbiome and probiotic research in Africa, a workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya, at which researchers discussed human, animal, insect, and agricultural microbiome and probiotics/prebiotics topics. Five recommendations were made to promote future basic and translational research that benefits Africans.
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Probiotics, prebiotics, and the host microbiome: the science of translation.
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 11-22-2013
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Recent advances in our understanding of the community structure and function of the human microbiome have implications for the potential role of probiotics and prebiotics in promoting human health. A group of experts recently met to review the latest advances in microbiota/microbiome research and discuss the implications for development of probiotics and prebiotics, primarily as they relate to effects mediated via the intestine. The goals of the meeting were to share recent advances in research on the microbiota, microbiome, probiotics, and prebiotics, and to discuss these findings in the contexts of regulatory barriers, evolving healthcare environments, and potential effects on a variety of health topics, including the development of obesity and diabetes; the long-term consequences of exposure to antibiotics early in life to the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota; lactose intolerance; and the relationship between the GI microbiota and the central nervous system, with implications for depression, cognition, satiety, and mental health for people living in developed and developing countries. This report provides an overview of these discussions.
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High throughput sequencing methods and analysis for microbiome research.
J. Microbiol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2013
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High-throughput sequencing technology is rapidly improving in quality, speed and cost. It is therefore becoming more widely used to study whole communities of prokaryotes in many niches. This review discusses these techniques, including nucleic acid extraction from different environments, sample preparation and high-throughput sequencing platforms. We also discuss commonly used and recently developed bioinformatic tools applied to microbiomes, including analyzing amplicon sequences, metagenome shotgun sequences and metatranscriptome sequences. This field is relatively new and rapidly evolving, thus we hope that this review will provide a baseline for understanding these methods of microbiome analyses. Additionally, we seek to stimulate others to solve the many problems that still exist with the sensitivity, specificity and interpretation of high throughput microbiome sequence analysis.
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If microbial ecosystem therapy can change your life, whats the problem?
Bioessays
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2013
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The increased incidence of morbidity and mortality due to Clostridium difficile infection, had led to the emergence of fecal microbial transplantation (FMT) as a highly successful treatment. From this, a 32 strain stool substitute has been derived, and successfully tested in a pilot human study. These approaches could revolutionize not only medical care of infectious diseases, but potentially many other conditions linked to the human microbiome. But a second revolution may be needed in order for regulatory agencies, society and medical practitioners to accept and utilize these interventions, monitor their long term effects, have a degree of control over their use, or at a minimum provide guidelines for donors and recipients.
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Genome sequence of Lactobacillus pentosus KCA1: vaginal isolate from a healthy premenopausal woman.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2013
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The vaginal microbiota, in particular Lactobacillus species, play an important role in female health through modulation of immunity, countering pathogens and maintaining a pH below 4.7. We report the isolation and genome sequence of Lactobacillus pentosus strain KCA1 (formally known as L. plantarum) from the vagina of a healthy Nigerian woman. The genome was sequenced using Illumina GA II technology. The resulting 16,920,226 paired-end reads were assembled with the Velvet tool. Contigs were annotated using the RAST server, and manually curated. A comparative analysis with the available genomes of L. pentosus IG1 and L. plantarum WCFS1 showed that over 15% of the predicted functional activities are found only in this strain. The strain has a chromosome sequence of 3,418,159 bp with a G+C content of 46.4%, and is devoid of plasmids. Novel gene clusters or variants of known genes relative to the reference genomes were found. In particular, the strain has loci encoding additional putative mannose phosphotransferase systems. Clusters of genes include those for utilization of hydantoin, isopropylmalate, malonate, rhamnosides, and genes for assimilation of polyglycans, suggesting the metabolic versatility of L. pentosus KCA1. Loci encoding putative phage defense systems were also found including clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), abortive infection (Abi) systems and toxin-antitoxin systems (TA). A putative cluster of genes for biosynthesis of a cyclic bacteriocin precursor, here designated as pentocin KCA1 (penA) were identified. These findings add crucial information for understanding the genomic and geographic diversity of vaginal lactobacilli.
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The role of the microbiome in rheumatic diseases.
Curr Rheumatol Rep
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2013
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There is a growing understanding of the mechanisms by which the influence of the microbiota projects beyond sites of primary mucosal occupation to other human body systems. Bacteria present in the intestinal tract exert a profound effect on the host immune system, both locally and at distant sites. The oral cavity has its own characteristic microbiota, which concentrates in periodontal tissues and is in close association with a permeable epithelium. In this review we examine evidence which supports a role for the microbiome in the aetiology of rheumatic disease. We also discuss how changes in the composition of the microbiota, particularly within the gastrointestinal tract, may be affected by genetics, diet, and use of antimicrobial agents. Evidence is presented to support the theory that an altered microbiota is a factor in the initiation and perpetuation of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Mechanisms through which the microbiota may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases include altered epithelial and mucosal permeability, loss of immune tolerance to components of the indigenous microbiota, and trafficking of both activated immune cells and antigenic material to the joints. The potential to manipulate the microbiome, by application of probiotics and faecal microbial transplant (FMT), is now being investigated. Both approaches are in their infancy with regard to management of rheumatic disease but their potential is worthy of consideration, given the need for novel therapeutic approaches, and the emerging recognition of the importance of microbial interactions with human hosts.
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Influence of the vaginal microbiota on toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 production by Staphylococcus aureus.
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2013
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Menstrual toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a serious illness that afflicts women of premenopausal age worldwide and arises from vaginal infection by Staphylococcus aureus and concurrent production of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1). Studies have illustrated the capacity of lactobacilli to reduce S. aureus virulence, including the capacity to suppress TSST-1. We hypothesized that an aberrant microbiota characteristic of pathogenic bacteria would induce the increased production of TSST-1 and that this might represent a risk factor for the development of TSS. A S. aureus TSST-1 reporter strain was grown in the presence of vaginal swab contents collected from women with a clinically healthy vaginal status, women with an intermediate status, and those diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis (BV). Bacterial supernatant challenge assays were also performed to test the effects of aerobic vaginitis (AV)-associated pathogens toward TSST-1 production. While clinical samples from healthy and BV women suppressed toxin production, in vitro studies demonstrated that Streptococcus agalactiae and Enterococcus spp. significantly induced TSST-1 production, while some Lactobacillus spp. suppressed it. The findings suggest that women colonized by S. aureus and with AV, but not BV, may be more susceptible to menstrual TSS and would most benefit from prophylactic treatment.
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The rationale for probiotics improving reproductive health and pregnancy outcome.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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Medical problems of most importance to reproductive health of women differ to some extent between the developed world and resource-disadvantaged countries. Nevertheless, many share a common link in microbial involvement.
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ANOVA-like differential expression (ALDEx) analysis for mixed population RNA-Seq.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Experimental variance is a major challenge when dealing with high-throughput sequencing data. This variance has several sources: sampling replication, technical replication, variability within biological conditions, and variability between biological conditions. The high per-sample cost of RNA-Seq often precludes the large number of experiments needed to partition observed variance into these categories as per standard ANOVA models. We show that the partitioning of within-condition to between-condition variation cannot reasonably be ignored, whether in single-organism RNA-Seq or in Meta-RNA-Seq experiments, and further find that commonly-used RNA-Seq analysis tools, as described in the literature, do not enforce the constraint that the sum of relative expression levels must be one, and thus report expression levels that are systematically distorted. These two factors lead to misleading inferences if not properly accommodated. As it is usually only the biological between-condition and within-condition differences that are of interest, we developed ALDEx, an ANOVA-like differential expression procedure, to identify genes with greater between- to within-condition differences. We show that the presence of differential expression and the magnitude of these comparative differences can be reasonably estimated with even very small sample sizes.
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Persistence of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius M18 is dose dependent and megaplasmid transfer can augment their bacteriocin production and adhesion characteristics.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Bacteriocin-producing probiotic Streptococcus salivarius M18 offers beneficial modulatory capabilities within the oral microbiome, apparently through potent inhibitory activity against potentially deleterious bacteria, such as Streptococcus pyogenes. The oral cavity persistence of S. salivarius M18 was investigated in 75 subjects receiving four different doses for 28 days. Sixty per cent of the subjects already had some inhibitor-producing S. salivarius in their saliva prior to probiotic intervention. Strain M18s persistence was dependent upon the dose, but not the period of administration. Culture analysis indicated that in some individuals the introduced strain had almost entirely replaced the indigenous S. salivarius, though the total numbers of the species did not increase. Selected subjects showing either high or low probiotic persistence had their salivary populations profiled using Illumina sequencing of the V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Analysis indicated that while certain bacterial phenotypes were markedly modulated, the overall composition of the oral microbiome was not modified by the probiotic treatment. Megaplasmids encoding bacteriocins and adhesion factors were transferred in vitro to generate a transconjugant S. salivarius exhibiting enhanced antimicrobial production and binding capabilities to HEp-2 cells. Since no widespread perturbation of the existing indigenous microbiota was associated with oral instillation and given its antimicrobial activity against potentially pathogenic streptococci, it appears that application of probiotic strain M18 offers potential low impact alternative to classical antibiotic prophylaxis. For candidate probiotic strains having relatively poor antimicrobial or adhesive properties, unique derivatives displaying improved probiotic performance may be engineered in vitro by megaplasmid transfer.
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Unraveling how probiotic yogurt works.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 10-28-2011
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No matter what the advertisements are, or are not, allowed to say, it would be good to know if probiotic yogurt, in addition to its nutritional value, has a beneficial effect on the gut. In this issue, McNulty, Gordon and their colleagues describe a parallel series of human and animal studies designed to uncover the effects of probiotic yogurt on the gut microbiota. The intake of yogurt supplemented with five bacterial species, including the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis, did not appreciably alter the composition of the human or mouse gut microbiota, but it did induce transcriptional and metabolic changes that reflected host bacterial responses to the arrival of the new species. This elegant study provides a strategy to delineate the precise effects exerted by probiotic foods on the human gut.
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Noninvasive bioluminescent imaging of primary patient acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a strategy for preclinical modeling.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2011
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The efficient engraftment in immune-deficient mice achieved with both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines and primary samples has facilitated identification of the antileukemia activity of a wide variety of agents. Despite widespread usage, however, little is known about the early ALL localization and engraftment kinetics in this model, limiting experimental read-outs primarily to survival and endpoint analysis at high disease burden. In this study, we report that bioluminescent imaging can be reproducibly achieved with primary human ALL samples. This approach provides a noninvasive, longitudinal measure of leukemia burden and localization that enhances the sensitivity of treatment response detection and provides greater insight into the mechanism of action of antileukemia agents. In addition, this study reveals significant cell line- and species-related differences in leukemia migration, especially early in expansion, which may confound observations between various leukemia models. Overall, this study demonstrates that the use of bioluminescent primary ALL allows the detection and quantitation of treatment effects at earlier, previously unquantifiable disease burdens and thus provides the means to standardize and expedite the evaluation of anti-ALL activity in preclinical xenograft studies.
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Effect of micronutrient and probiotic fortified yogurt on immune-function of anti-retroviral therapy naive HIV patients.
Nutrients
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2011
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Micronutrient supplementation has been shown to reduce the progression of HIV but does not have an effect on the intestinal barrier or the intestinal microbiota of HIV patients. Studies have suggested that probiotics could potentially complement micronutrients in preserving the immune-function of HIV patients.
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Vaginal microbiome and epithelial gene array in post-menopausal women with moderate to severe dryness.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2011
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After menopause, many women experience vaginal dryness and atrophy of tissue, often attributed to the loss of estrogen. An understudied aspect of vaginal health in women who experience dryness due to atrophy is the role of the resident microbes. It is known that the microbiota has an important role in healthy vaginal homeostasis, including maintaining the pH balance and excluding pathogens. The objectives of this study were twofold: first to identify the microbiome of post-menopausal women with and without vaginal dryness and symptoms of atrophy; and secondly to examine any differences in epithelial gene expression associated with atrophy. The vaginal microbiome of 32 post-menopausal women was profiled using Illumina sequencing of the V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Sixteen subjects were selected for follow-up sampling every two weeks for 10 weeks. In addition, 10 epithelial RNA samples (6 healthy and 4 experiencing vaginal dryness) were acquired for gene expression analysis by Affymetrix Human Gene array. The microbiota abundance profiles were relatively stable over 10 weeks compared to previously published data on premenopausal women. There was an inverse correlation between Lactobacillus ratio and dryness and an increased bacterial diversity in women experiencing moderate to severe vaginal dryness. In healthy participants, Lactobacillus iners and L. crispatus were generally the most abundant, countering the long-held view that lactobacilli are absent or depleted in menopause. Vaginal dryness and atrophy were associated with down-regulation of human genes involved in maintenance of epithelial structure and barrier function, while those associated with inflammation were up-regulated consistent with the adverse clinical presentation.
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A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot study of probiotics in active rheumatoid arthritis.
Med. Sci. Monit.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2011
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To examine the effect of probiotics as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A sample size of 30 subjects was calculated to determine a moderate effect.
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Probiotics and prebiotics to combat enteric infections and HIV in the developing world: a consensus report.
Gut Microbes
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2011
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Infectious disease in the developing world continues to represent one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Every year over a million children suffer and die from the sequela of enteric infections, while in 2008 it is estimated almost 2.7 million (UNAIDS 2009 update) adults and children became infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). While oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea, and antiretrovirals (ARV) for HIV are critical, there is a place for adjunctive therapies to improve quality of life. The importance of the human microbiota in retaining health is now recognized, as is the concept of replenishing beneficial microbes through probiotic treatments. Studies have shown that probiotics can reduce the duration of diarrhea, improve gut barrier function, help prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV), and enhance immunity even in HIV-infected subjects. However, many issues remain before the extent of probiotic benefits can be verified, and their application to the developing world realised. This consensus report outlines the potential probiotic, and to a lesser extent prebiotic, applications in resource disadvantages settings, and recommends steps that could bring tangible relief to millions of people. The challenges to both efficacy and effectiveness studies in these settings include a lack of infrastructure and funding for scientists, students and research projects in developing countries; making available clinically proven probiotic and prebiotic products at affordable prices; and undertaking appropriately designed clinical trials. We present a roadmap on how efficacy studies may be conducted in a resource disadvantages setting among persons with chronic diarrhea and HIV. These examples and the translation of efficacy into effectiveness are described.
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PCR-based identification of eight Lactobacillus species and 18 hr-HPV genotypes in fixed cervical samples of South African women at risk of HIV and BV.
Diagn. Cytopathol.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2011
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Vaginal lactobacilli assessed by PCR-based microarray and PCR-based genotyping of HPV in South African women at risk for HIV and BV. Vaginal lactobacilli can be defined by microarray techniques in fixed cervical samples of South African women. Cervical brush samples suspended in the coagulant fixative BoonFix of one hundred women attending a health centre for HIV testing in South Africa were available for this study. In the Ndlovu Medical Centre in Elandsdoorn, South Africa, identification of 18 hr-HPV genotypes was done using the INNO-LiPA method. An inventory of lactobacilli organisms was performed using microarray technology. On the basis of the Lactobacillus and Lactobacillus biofilm scoring, the cases were identified as Leiden bacterial vaginosis (BV) negative (BV-; n = 41), Leiden BV intermediate (BV±; n = 25), and Leiden BV positive (BV+; n = 34). Fifty-one women were HIV positive and 49 HIV negative. Out of the 51 HIV positive women, 35 were HPV infected. These 51 HIV positive women were frequently infected with HPV16 and HPV18. In addition, HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66 were often detected in these samples. Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus iners were the most prevalent lactobacilli as established by the microarray technique. In women with HPV infection, the prevalence of Lactobacillus crispatus was significantly reduced. In both HIV and HPV infection, a similar (but not identical) shift in the composition of the lactobacillus flora was observed. We conclude that there is a shift in the composition of vaginal lactobacilli in HIV-infected women. Because of the prominence of HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66, vaccination for exclusively HPV16 and HPV18 might be insufficient in South African HIV+ women.
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Effect of 25 weeks probiotic supplementation on immune function of HIV patients.
Gut Microbes
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2011
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Studies with a follow-up of < 8 weeks have indicated immune-preserving effects of yogurt probiotic supplementation among HIV patients. To evaluate the impact of 25 weeks use of probiotics, a randomized, double blind, controlled study was undertaken on 65 women who were naïve to anti-retroviral treatment.
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Disruption of urogenital biofilms by lactobacilli.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2011
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The process that changes a relatively sparse vaginal microbiota of healthy women into a dense biofilm of pathogenic and potentially pathogenic bacteria is poorly understood. Likewise, the reverse step whereby an aberrant biofilm is displaced and returns to a healthy lactobacilli dominated microbiota is unclear. In order to study these phenomena, in vitro experiments were performed to examine the structure of biofilms associated with aerobic vaginosis, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Uropathogenic Escherichia coli were able to form relatively thin biofilms within five days (6 ?m height), while Atopobium vaginae and Gardnerella vaginalis formed thicker biofilms 12 ?m in height within two days. Challenge of E. coli biofilms with lactobacilli did not result in pathogen displacement. However, the resulting thicker lactobacilli infused biofilms, caused significant E. coli killing. E. coli biofilms challenged with secreted products of L. rhamnosus GR-1 caused a marked decrease in cell density, and increased cell death. Similarly challenge of BV biofilms with lactobacilli infiltrated BV biofilms and caused bacterial cell death. Metronidazole produced holes in the biofilm but did not eradicate the organisms. The findings provide some evidence of how lactobacilli probiotics might interfere with an aberrant vaginal microbiota, and strengthen the position that combining probiotics with antimicrobials could better eradicate pathogenic biofilms.
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Microarray-based identification of clinically relevant vaginal bacteria in relation to bacterial vaginosis.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-26-2011
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The objective was to examine the use of a tailor-made DNA microarray containing probes representing the vaginal microbiota to examine bacterial vaginosis.
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Microbiota restoration: natural and supplemented recovery of human microbial communities.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-29-2010
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In a healthy host, a balance exists between members of the microbiota, such that potential pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms can be found in apparent harmony. During infection, this balance can become disturbed, leading to often dramatic changes in the composition of the microbiota. For most bacterial infections, nonspecific antibiotics are used, killing the non-pathogenic members of the microbiota as well as the pathogens and leading to a substantial delay in the restoration of a healthy microbiota. However, in some cases, infections can self-resolve without the intervention of antibiotics. In this Review, we explore the mechanisms underlying microbiota restoration following insult (antibiotic or otherwise) to the skin, oral cavity, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts, highlighting recovery by natural processes and after probiotic administration.
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Probiotic strategies for the treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis.
Expert Opin Pharmacother
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2010
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Urogenital infections are on average the number-one reason for women to visit the doctor. Yet, treatment and preventive strategies have gone unchanged for close to 50 years. With prevalence rates for bacterial vaginosis at more than 29%, depending on the population, and similarly high incidences of vulvo-vaginal candidiasis and urinary tract infections, plus HIV, new therapies are urgently needed to improve the health of women around the world.
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At the crossroads of vaginal health and disease, the genome sequence of Lactobacillus iners AB-1.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-08-2010
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Lactobacilli have long been regarded as important constituents of the healthy human vagina. Lactobacillus iners is the most frequently detected bacterial species in the vagina, but little is known about its characteristics. We report a description of the whole-genome sequence of L. iners AB-1 along with comparative analysis of published genomes of closely related strains of lactobacilli. The genome is the smallest Lactobacillus reported to date, with a 1.3-Mbp single chromosome. The genome seems to have undergone one or more rapid evolution events that resulted in large-scale gene loss and horizontal acquisition of a number of genes for survival in the vagina. L. iners may exhibit specialized adaptation mechanisms to the vaginal environment, such as an iron-sulfur cluster assembly system, and several unique ? factors to regulate gene transcription in this fluctuating environment. A potentially highly expressed homolog of a cholesterol-binding lysin may also contribute to host cell adhesion or act as a defense mechanism against other microbes. Notably, there is a lack of apparent adhesion proteins, but several cell-anchor proteins were identified and may be important for interaction with the host mucosal tissues. L. iners is widely present in healthy females as well as those suffering from bacterial vaginosis or who have undergone antimicrobial therapy, suggesting that it is an important indigenous species of the vagina.
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Development and pilot evaluation of a novel probiotic mixture for the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Can. J. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 10-06-2010
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Microbial exposure may direct the immune system away from allergic-type responses, but until now probiotic interventions have had limited success in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. In this study, a novel probiotic mixture was specifically created based on preliminary in vitro investigations on pollen-induced immune responses. A mixture with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and a novel fecal Bifidobacterium adolescentis isolate was formulated into a yogurt and tested for its effects in 36 subjects with allergic rhinitis over 2 pollen seasons in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The new formulation was well tolerated, but did not have significant effects on the quality of life scores, use of antihistamines, or eosinophil cationic protein concentration in nasal lavage. However, at the end of the grass pollen season, serum IL-10 and IL-12 levels were increased in the probiotic group compared to the controls. During the ragweed season, the serum TGF-β levels were significantly higher in the probiotic group than in the controls. In conclusion, the novel probiotic formulation had potentially desirable effects on the cytokine profile of patients with allergic rhinitis, but provided few clinical benefits. The study highlights the challenges in designing efficient immunomodulatory probiotic therapies based upon in vitro findings.
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Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1-induced IL-10 production in human placental trophoblast cells involves activation of JAK/STAT and MAPK pathways.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 09-21-2010
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Intrauterine infection/inflammation complicates 25% to 40% of preterm births (PTB). The human vagina is normally populated by Lactobacillus species, some of which upregulate interleukin 10 (IL-10) output in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated human placental trophoblast cells. We hypothesize that a probiotic strain, L rhamnosus GR-1 exerts its anti-inflammatory effect through activation of the Janus Kinases/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (JAK/STAT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Placental trophoblasts from term healthy pregnancies were treated with LPS in the presence or absence of pretreatments with GR-1 supernatant and/or chemical inhibitors of the intracellular signaling pathways. Phosphorylation of STAT3 and p38 was measured by Western Blot analysis, and output of IL-10 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Phosphorylation of STAT-3 and p38 was upregulated by GR-1 supernatant alone or in combination with LPS, while IL-10 output was inhibited by both JAK and p38 inhibitors. These data provide an underlying intracellular mechanism for cytokine regulation in the human placenta by L rhamnosus GR-1 and potential prevention of infection/inflammation-mediated PTB.
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Altered host-microbe interaction in HIV: a target for intervention with pro- and prebiotics.
Int. Rev. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2010
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The intestinal immune system is severely affected by HIV and circulating microbial products from the intestinal tract that provide an ongoing source of systemic inflammation and concomitant viral replication. In addition, HIV-infected individuals can have a deregulated immune response that may hamper the anti-viral capacity of the host. Various probiotic organisms and prebiotic agents have been shown to enhance intestinal epithelial barrier functions, reduce inflammation, and support effective Th-1 responses. As these characteristics may benefit HIV patients, this review aims to provide a theoretical framework for the development of probiotic and prebiotic interventions specifically for this population.
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Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 stimulates colony-stimulating factor 3 (granulocyte) (CSF3) output in placental trophoblast cells in a fetal sex-dependent manner.
Biol. Reprod.
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2010
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Bacterial vaginosis is associated with a 1.4-fold increased risk of preterm birth. We have shown previously that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant up-regulates interleukin 10 and down-regulates tumor necrosis factor-alpha output in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated human primary placenta cultures in a fetal sex-dependent manner. We hypothesize that lactobacilli also exert their anti-inflammatory effect by up-regulation of colony-stimulating factor 3 (granulocyte) (CSF3), which is secreted from both immune and placental trophoblast cells, and that this activity is dependent on the sex of the fetus. Placental trophoblast cells were isolated from term elective cesarean section placentae using a Percoll gradient and separated from CD45(+) cells using magnetic purification. Cells were treated with LPS in the presence or absence of pretreatments with L. rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant or chemical inhibitors of the intracellular signaling pathways. Phosphorylations of mitogen-activated protein kinase 14 (MAPK14, previously known as p38) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 were measured by Western blot analysis, and levels of CSF3 were determined by ELISA. CSF3 output was increased only in the placental trophoblast cells of female fetuses treated with LPS, GR-1 supernatant, and a combination of both treatments. The GR-1 supernatant up-regulated the phosphorylation of STAT3 and MAPK14. CSF3 output was inhibited by both Janus kinases (JAK) and MAPK14 inhibitors. None of the treatments was able to increase CSF3 output in either the pure trophoblast or the CD45(+) cell preparations alone. These results suggest an underlying mechanism for the sex difference in incidence of preterm birth and provide potential evidence for a therapeutic benefit of lactobacilli in reducing the risk of preterm labor.
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The potential role for probiotic yogurt for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Gut Microbes
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2010
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In demonstrating that it is feasible to create a community-run kitchen that produces probiotic yogurt, and that this can contribute to the health of people with HIV/AIDS, we embellished the 2001 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) report on probiotics that recommended efforts be made to take probiotics to developing countries. We proved that driven by humanitarian goals not profit, probiotic yogurt can be produced in the worlds poor regions. This food can be safely consumed by HIV/AIDS subjects, and in many of them benefits can be accrued in gut health, nutritional and potentially immune status. Such outcomes have a scientific rationale, many social implications, and perhaps most importantly raise the question, why have developed countries not tried harder to bring nutrition-based probiotics to people in need?
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Microbiome profiling by illumina sequencing of combinatorial sequence-tagged PCR products.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2010
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We developed a low-cost, high-throughput microbiome profiling method that uses combinatorial sequence tags attached to PCR primers that amplify the rRNA V6 region. Amplified PCR products are sequenced using an Illumina paired-end protocol to generate millions of overlapping reads. Combinatorial sequence tagging can be used to examine hundreds of samples with far fewer primers than is required when sequence tags are incorporated at only a single end. The number of reads generated permitted saturating or near-saturating analysis of samples of the vaginal microbiome. The large number of reads allowed an in-depth analysis of errors, and we found that PCR-induced errors composed the vast majority of non-organism derived species variants, an observation that has significant implications for sequence clustering of similar high-throughput data. We show that the short reads are sufficient to assign organisms to the genus or species level in most cases. We suggest that this method will be useful for the deep sequencing of any short nucleotide region that is taxonomically informative; these include the V3, V5 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes and the eukaryotic V9 region that is gaining popularity for sampling protist diversity.
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Responders and non-responders to probiotic interventions: how can we improve the odds?
Gut Microbes
PUBLISHED: 07-24-2010
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As with many clinical studies, trials using probiotics have shown clearly that some patients benefit from the treatment while others do not. For example if treatment with probiotics leads to 36% cure rate of diarrhea, why did the other 64% not have the same result? The issue is important for human and indeed experimental animal studies for two main reasons: (i) Would changing the design of the study result in more subjects responding to treatment? (ii) If a subject does not respond what are the mechanistic reasons? In order to tackle the issue of responders and non-responders to therapy, a workshop was held by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). The outcome was four recommendations. 1. Clearly define the end goal: this could be supporting a health claim or having the highest clinical effect and impact. 2. Design the study to maximize the chance of a positive response by identifying precise parameters and defining the level of response that will be tested. 3. Base the selection of the intervention on scientific investigations: which strain(s) and/or product formulation should be used and why. 4. Carefully select the study cohort: use biological or genetic markers when available to stratify the patient population before enrollment and decide at what point intervention will provide the best outcome (for example, in acute phase of disease, or during remission, with or without use of pharmaceutical agents). By following these recommendations and selecting an appropriate primary outcome, it is hoped that clinical data will emerge in the future that expands our knowledge of which probiotics benefits which subjects and by what mechanism.
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Deep sequencing of the vaginal microbiota of women with HIV.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 06-17-2010
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Women living with HIV and co-infected with bacterial vaginosis (BV) are at higher risk for transmitting HIV to a partner or newborn. It is poorly understood which bacterial communities constitute BV or the normal vaginal microbiota among this population and how the microbiota associated with BV responds to antibiotic treatment.
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Probiotic yogurt consumption is associated with an increase of CD4 count among people living with HIV/AIDS.
J. Clin. Gastroenterol.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2010
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To evaluate the long term effect of yogurt supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus Fiti on the immune function (CD4 count) of people living with HIV/AIDS.
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Effect of Meswak (Middle Eastern tree bark) on oral pathogens and potential for probiotic applications.
J Med Food
PUBLISHED: 05-05-2010
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Dental caries is a major cause of affliction in people living in the developing world. Oral hygiene is often maintained by the use of tree-based toothbrush sticks called Meswak. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Meswak along with probiotic bacteria on the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the organism most often associated with dental caries. The results indicated that Meswak has a marked inhibitory effect on the streptococci. Addition of Lactobacillus strains significantly reduced the viable counts of S. mutans. A prototype spray containing Meswak extract, lactobacilli, and mint was developed and shown to have potential as an anticaries mouthwash.
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Micronutrients, N-acetyl cysteine, probiotics and prebiotics, a review of effectiveness in reducing HIV progression.
Nutrients
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2010
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Low serum concentrations of micronutrients, intestinal abnormalities, and an inflammatory state have been associated with HIV progression. These may be ameliorated by micronutrients, N-acetyl cysteine, probiotics, and prebiotics. This review aims to integrate the evidence from clinical trials of these interventions on the progression of HIV. Vitamin B, C, E, and folic acid have been shown to delay the progression of HIV. Supplementation with selenium, N-acetyl cysteine, probiotics, and prebiotics has considerable potential, but the evidence needs to be further substantiated. Vitamin A, iron, and zinc have been associated with adverse effects and caution is warranted for their use.
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Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 to prevent or cure bacterial vaginosis among women with HIV.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2010
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To assess, among women with HIV, whether long-term oral Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 supplementation can prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV) and enhance the cure rate of metronidazole among those with BV.
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African traditional fermented foods and probiotics.
J Med Food
PUBLISHED: 12-23-2009
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African traditional fermented foods remain the main source of nutrition for many rural communities in Africa. Although lactic acid bacteria are integral to many of these foods, little is known about the specific health benefits they confer or the properties of their strains. This mini-review explores the history of some African fermented foods and their microbial content and properties within the context of probiotic characteristics. Given the recent upsurge in probiotic research, recommendations are made on studies that could be performed with African fermented foods and their strains, with a view to improving the health of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Effect of cranberry drink on bacterial adhesion in vitro and vaginal microbiota in healthy females.
Can J Urol
PUBLISHED: 12-17-2009
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Cranberries have been shown to produce urinary metabolites that influence uropathogen adhesion and prevent urinary tract infections. This study was designed to determine if consuming reconstituted, unsweetened cranberry drink from extract retained its bioactive properties by reducing uropathogen adhesion without adversely affecting urinary calcium, magnesium and the vaginal microflora.
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Interferon-gamma-dependent infiltration of human T cells into neuroblastoma tumors in vivo.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-13-2009
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To investigate the impact of interferon-gamma-mediated upregulation of major histocompatibility complex class I expression on tumor-specific T-cell cytotoxicity and T-cell trafficking into neuroblastoma tumors in vivo.
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Targeting the vaginal microbiota with probiotics as a means to counteract infections.
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care
PUBLISHED: 09-11-2009
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The microbial composition of the vagina of healthy and infected women is becoming more fully elucidated with molecular techniques. The purpose of this review is to examine our current understanding of the vaginal microbiota and assess how probiotic bacteria might reduce infectivity.
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Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 on the ability of Candida albicans to infect cells and induce inflammation.
Microbiol. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2009
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Vulvovaginal candidiasis, a high prevailing infection worldwide, is mainly caused by Candida albicans. Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 have been previously shown to be useful as adjuvants in the treatment of women with VVC. In order to demonstrate and better understand the anti-Candida activity of the probiotic microorganisms in an in vitro model simulating vaginal candidiasis, a human vaginal epithelial cell line (VK2/E6E7) was infected with C.albicans 3153a and then challenged with probiotic L. rhamnosus GR-1 and/or L. reuteri RC-14 or their respective CFS (alone or in combination). At each time point (0, 6, 12 and 24 hr), numbers of yeast, lactobacilli and viable VK2/E6E7 cells were determined and, at 0, 6 and 12 hr, the supernatants were measured for cytokine levels. We found that C. albicans induced a significant increase in IL-1alpha and IL-8 production by VK2/E6E7 cells. After lactobacilli challenge, epithelial cells did not alter IL-6, IL-1alpha, RANTES and VEGF levels. However, CFS from the probiotic microorganisms up-regulated IL-8 and IP-10 levels secreted by VK2/E6E7 cells infected with C. albicans. At 24 hr of co-incubation, L. reuteri RC-14 alone and in combination with L. rhamnosus GR-1 decreased the yeast population recoverable from the cells. In conclusion, L. reuteri RC-14 alone and together with L. rhamnosus GR-1 have the potential to inhibit the yeast growth and their CFS may up-regulate IL-8 and IP-10 secretion by VK2/E6E7 cells, which could possibly have played an important role in helping to clear VVC in vivo.
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Long-term protection from syngeneic acute lymphoblastic leukemia by CpG ODN-mediated stimulation of innate and adaptive immune responses.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 07-27-2009
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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and remains a major cause of mortality in children with recurrent disease and in adults. Despite observed graft-versus-leukemia effects after stem cell transplantation, successful immune therapies for ALL have proven elusive. We previously reported immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG ODN) enhance allogeneic T(h)1 responses and reduce leukemic burden of primary human ALL xenografts. To further the development of CpG ODN as a novel ALL therapy, we investigated the antileukemia activity induced by CpG ODN in a transplantable syngeneic pre-B ALL model. CpG ODN induced early killing of leukemia by innate immune effectors both in vitro and in vivo. Mice were treated with CpG ODN starting 7 days after injection with leukemia to mimic a minimal residual disease state and achieved T cell-dependent remissions of more than 6 months. In addition, mice in remission after CpG ODN treatment were protected from leukemia rechallenge, and adoptive transfer of T cells from mice in remission conferred protection against leukemia growth. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that CpG ODN induce a durable remission and ongoing immune-mediated protection in ALL, suggesting this treatment may have clinical utility in patients with minimal residual disease.
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Reduced expression of basal and probiotic-inducible G-CSF in intestinal mononuclear cells is associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflamm. Bowel Dis.
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2009
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Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a pleiotropic cytokine involved in the hematopoiesis of granulocytes, neuroprotection, and immunomodulation. Previously, we have shown that probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 induces G-CSF production from bone marrow-derived macrophages. Whether this probiotic also induces G-CSF in intestinal mononuclear cells is unknown.
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Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 may help downregulate TNF-Alpha, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12 (p70) in the neurogenic bladder of spinal cord injured patient with urinary tract infections: a two-case study.
Adv Urol
PUBLISHED: 04-06-2009
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The management of urinary tract infection (UTI) in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) continues to be of concern, due to complications that can occur. An emerging concept that is a common underlying pathophysiological process is involved, wherein pathogens causing UTI have a role in inflammatory progression. We hypothesized that members of the commensal flora, such as lactobacilli, may counter this reaction through anti-inflammatory mediation. This was assessed in a pilot two-patient study in which probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri were administered to one patient and placebo to another, both along with antibiotics to treat acute UTI. Urinary TNF-alpha was significantly downregulated (P = .015) in the patient who received the probiotic and who used intermittent catheterization compared with patient on placebo and using an indwelling catheter. The extent to which this alteration resulted in improved well-being in spinal cord injured patients remains to be determined in a larger study.
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Vaginal microbiota and the use of probiotics.
Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2009
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The human vagina is inhabited by a range of microbes from a pool of over 50 species. Lactobacilli are the most common, particularly in healthy women. The microbiota can change composition rapidly, for reasons that are not fully clear. This can lead to infection or to a state in which organisms with pathogenic potential coexist with other commensals. The most common urogenital infection in premenopausal women is bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition characterized by a depletion of lactobacilli population and the presence of Gram-negative anaerobes, or in some cases Gram-positive cocci, and aerobic pathogens. Treatment of BV traditionally involves the antibiotics metronidazole or clindamycin, however, the recurrence rate remains high, and this treatment is not designed to restore the lactobacilli. In vitro studies have shown that Lactobacillus strains can disrupt BV and yeast biofilms and inhibit the growth of urogenital pathogens. The use of probiotics to populate the vagina and prevent or treat infection has been considered for some time, but only quite recently have data emerged to show efficacy, including supplementation of antimicrobial treatment to improve cure rates and prevent recurrences.
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Improved cure of bacterial vaginosis with single dose of tinidazole (2 g), Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Can. J. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2009
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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent vaginal infection worldwide and is characterized by depletion of the indigenous lactobacilli. Antimicrobial therapy is often ineffective. We hypothesized that probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 might provide an adjunct to antimicrobial treatment and improve cure rates. Sixty-four Brazilian women diagnosed with BV were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of tinidazole (2 g) supplemented with either 2 placebo capsules or 2 capsules containing L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 every morning for the following 4 weeks. At the end of treatment (day 28), the probiotic group had a significantly higher cure rate of BV (87.5%) than the placebo group (50.0%) (p = 0.001). In addition, according to the Gram-stain Nugent score, more women were assessed with "normal" vaginal microbiota in the probiotic group (75.0% vs. 34.4% in the placebo group; p = 0.011). This study shows that probiotic lactobacilli can provide benefits to women being treated with antibiotics for an infectious condition.
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Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant and fetal sex on lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine and prostaglandin-regulating enzymes in human placental trophoblast cells: implications for treatment of bacterial vaginosis and prevention of preterm
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2009
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The objective of the study was to determine the effect of fetal sex on the output of cytokines and prostaglandin-regulating enzymes in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and probiotic lactobacilli-treated placental trophoblast cells.
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In vitro evaluation of the viability of vaginal cells (VK2/E6E7) and probiotic Lactobacillus species in lemon juice.
Sex Health
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2009
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Women, especially in developing countries, most often bear the brunt of HIV infections. The continued lack of viable vaccines and microbicides has made some women resort to using natural products such as lemon or lime juice to avoid infection. Few in vitro studies have been done on the effect of lemon juice on vaginal cells and lactobacilli that constitute the major microbiota in healthy women.
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Abnormal immunological profile and vaginal microbiota in women prone to urinary tract infections.
Clin. Vaccine Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2009
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The host determinants of susceptibility to recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) are poorly understood. We investigated whether the susceptibility is associated with abnormalities in the immunological defense and further explored the linkage to vaginal microbiota. For this purpose, we compared vaginal, urine, and blood samples collected during a disease-free period from 22 women with recurrent UTI and from 17 controls. In UTI-prone women, interleukin-12 (IL-12) production in peripheral monocytes and myeloid dendritic cells (DCs) was significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced whether measured in relative numbers of IL-12-producing cells or in mean IL-12 production per cell. In contrast, no T-cell polarization was observed. Interestingly, it seemed that the cytokine production of DCs and monocytes did not translate into T-cell activation in the UTI-prone group in a manner similar to that seen with the controls. In vaginal mucosa, UTI-prone women had a lower concentration of tissue repair-associated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (P = 0.006) and less often had detectable amounts of the chief monocyte and DC chemoattractant, monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (P = 0.005), than the controls. The microbiota of UTI-prone women was characterized by a diminished lactobacillus morphotype composition, with an abnormally high (>3) mean Nugent score of 4.6 compared to 1.7 for the controls (P = 0.003). Normal lactobacillus composition was associated with increased IL-17 and VEGF concentrations in vaginal mucosa. In conclusion, immunological defects and a persistently aberrant microbiota, a lack of lactobacilli in particular, may contribute to susceptibility to recurrent UTI. Further studies of antigen-presenting-cell function and T-cell activation in recurrent UTI are called for.
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Adhesion of Lactobacillus iners AB-1 to Human fibronectin: a key mediator for persistence in the vagina?
Reprod Sci
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Lactobacillus iners is prominent in the human vagina and is able to persist despite development of bacterial vaginosis and treatment with antibiotics. A probable factor in its persistent survival is its ability to be retained in the vaginal epithelia. Genome sequencing of the strain showed an organism deplete of many metabolic pathways, yet equipped with fibronectin (Fn)-binding adhesins. The objective of the present study was to assess the ability of L iners AB-1 to bind immobilized Fn. Results showed that the organism superiorly bound the protein compared to other species of Lactobacillus and known binders such as Staphylococcus aureus. Treatment of L iners cells by protease rendered its binding abilities to Fn nonfunctional. The findings indicate a mechanism of vaginal persistence for a Lactobacillus species, with implications for reproductive health.
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Micronutrient supplemented probiotic yogurt for HIV-infected adults taking HAART in London, Canada.
Gut Microbes
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The Human Immunodeficiency Virus has devastating effects worldwide. The burden is less pronounced, but still present in Canada where approximately 64,000 men and women are HIV positive. The virus and the life-saving antiretroviral therapies often contribute to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disturbances. Certain probiotic organisms, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, have been shown to alleviate diarrhea as well as delay the decline of CD4 lymphocytes in some subjects. In addition, micronutrient formulae have been used extensively among HIV positive persons as a cost-effective method for improving quality of life and immune function. The objective of the present study was to combine probiotics and micronutrients into an affordable and highly palatable nutritional supplement and assess outcomes in 21 HIV-positive participants receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in London, Ontario, Canada. The design was a randomized, double blind, three-period, cross-over controlled trial with three different formulations of supplemented yogurt; micronutrient and probiotic (A), micronutrient alone (B) and probiotic alone (C). The period of intake for each of the types was 30 days with a 14 day wash-out period between the intervention types. The mean increase in CD4 was greatest with B (41 cells/µL, SD 221). Supplement A showed a mean change of +19 cells/µL (SD 142) and supplement C a mean change of - 7 cells/µL (SD 154). All yogurt types caused an increase in subjective energy and ability to perform daily activity scores. According to the safety measures taken to assess the tolerance of the yogurt, there were no adverse events and the yogurt was well-tolerated. These preliminary findings suggest that micronutrient supplemented probiotic yogurt may support immune function among people living with HIV.
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HPV Type Distribution and Cervical Cytology among HIV-Positive Tanzanian and South African Women.
ISRN Obstet Gynecol
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Background. There are limited data on high-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV) genotypes among HIV-positive women in Africa, and little is known about their relationship with cervical cytology in these populations. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 194 HIV-positive women (143 from Tanzania, and 51 from South Africa) to evaluate HPV genotypes among HIV-positive women with normal and abnormal cytology. Cervical samples were genotyped for HPV types, and slides were evaluated for atypical squamous cell changes according to the Bethesda classification system. Results. Prevalence of high grade squamous intraepithelial dysplasia (HSIL) was 9%. Overall, more than half (56%) of women were infected with an hr-HPV type; 94% of women with HSIL (n = 16), 90% of women with LSIL (n = 35), and 42% of women within normal limits (WNL) (n = 58) tested positive for hr-HPV. Overall, the most prevalent hr-HPV subtypes were HPV16 (26%) and HPV52 (30%). Regional differences in the prevalence of HPV18 and HPV35 were found. Conclusion. Regional differences in HPV genotypes among African women warrant the need to consider different monitoring programmes for cervical preneoplasia. HPV-based screening tests for cervical preneoplasia would be highly inefficient unless coupled with cytology screening of the HPV-positive sample, especially in HIV-positive women.
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Probiotic interference of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 with the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans.
Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol
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Candida albicans is the most important Candida species causing vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). VVC has significant medical and economical impact on womens health and wellbeing. While current antifungal treatment is reasonably effective, supportive and preventive measures such as application of probiotics are required to reduce the incidence of VVC. We investigated the potential of the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 towards control of C. albicans. In vitro experiments demonstrated that lactic acid at low pH plays a major role in suppressing fungal growth. Viability staining following cocultures with lactobacilli revealed that C. albicans cells lost metabolic activity and eventually were killed. Transcriptome analyses showed increased expression of stress-related genes and lower expression of genes involved in fluconazole resistance, which might explain the increased eradication of Candida in a previous clinical study on conjoint probiotic therapy. Our results provide insights on the impact of probiotics on C. albicans survival.
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A Canadian Working Group report on fecal microbial therapy: microbial ecosystems therapeutics.
Can. J. Gastroenterol.
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A working group from across Canada comprised of clinician and basic scientists, epidemiologists, ethicists, Health Canada regulatory authorities and representatives of major funding agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of Canada) met to review the current experience with fecal microbial therapy and to identify the key areas of study required to move this field forward. The report highlights the promise of fecal microbial therapy and related synthetic stool therapy (together called microbial ecosystems therapeutics) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis and, possibly, other disorders. It identifies pressing clinical issues that need to be addressed as well as social, ethical and regulatory barriers to the use of these important therapies.
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Bioremediation and tolerance of humans to heavy metals through microbial processes: a potential role for probiotics?
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
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The food and water we consume are often contaminated with a range of chemicals and heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, and mercury, that are associated with numerous diseases. Although heavy-metal exposure and contamination are not a recent phenomenon, the concentration of metals and the exposure to populations remain major issues despite efforts at remediation. The ability to prevent and manage this problem is still a subject of much debate, with many technologies ineffective and others too expensive for practical large-scale use, especially for developing nations where major pollution occurs. This has led researchers to seek alternative solutions for decontaminating environmental sites and humans themselves. A number of environmental microorganisms have long been known for their ability to bind metals, but less well appreciated are human gastrointestinal bacteria. Species such as Lactobacillus, present in the human mouth, gut, and vagina and in fermented foods, have the ability to bind and detoxify some of these substances. This review examines the current understanding of detoxication mechanisms of lactobacilli and how, in the future, humans and animals might benefit from these organisms in remediating environmental contamination of food.
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Adhesion forces and coaggregation between vaginal staphylococci and lactobacilli.
PLoS ONE
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Urogenital infections are the most common ailments afflicting women. They are treated with dated antimicrobials whose efficacy is diminishing. The process of infection involves pathogen adhesion and displacement of indigenous Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii. An alternative therapeutic approach to antimicrobial therapy is to reestablish lactobacilli in this microbiome through probiotic administration. We hypothesized that lactobacilli displaying strong adhesion forces with pathogens would facilitate coaggregation between the two strains, ultimately explaining the elimination of pathogens seen in vivo. Using atomic force microscopy, we found that adhesion forces between lactobacilli and three virulent toxic shock syndrome toxin 1-producing Staphylococcus aureus strains, were significantly stronger (2.2-6.4 nN) than between staphylococcal pairs (2.2-3.4 nN), especially for the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 (4.0-6.4 nN) after 120 s of bond-strengthening. Moreover, stronger adhesion forces resulted in significantly larger coaggregates. Adhesion between the bacteria occurred instantly upon contact and matured within one to two minutes, demonstrating the potential for rapid anti-pathogen effects using a probiotic. Coaggregation is one of the recognized mechanisms through which lactobacilli can exert their probiotic effects to create a hostile micro-environment around a pathogen. With antimicrobial options fading, it therewith becomes increasingly important to identify lactobacilli that bind strongly with pathogens.
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