Fungi like warm, dark places to set up shop. Enter the vagina, a perfect home for intruders such as Candida of all stripes including albicans and lesser known varieties.
Women have been dealing with the uncomfortable side effects of such an invasion with few options. Medications are effective however a natural restoration of healthy microbes via probiotics may be a better way to go. The mucosa of the vagina is normally inhabited by both bacteria and fungi. If the normal balance is disrupted pathogens may settle in and proliferate.
Researchers at the University of Bologna in Italy sought to identify which vaginal lactobacilli normally present may exert antifungal properties. Furthermore, they asked what was their mechanism of action.
First, lactobacillus strains were isolated from vaginal swabs of 15 healthy premenopausal women.
Species of L. crispatus, L. gasseri and L. vaginalis produced hydrogen peroxide and lactate. Fungicidal activities against Candida were observed
- Significant reduction of adhesion. The lactobacillus strains accomplish this by competition, exclusion and displacement, according to the authors.
- Inhibition of enzymes, particularly histone deacetylases.
The research was published in an article titled Isolation of Vaginal Lactobacilli and Characterization of Anti-Candida Activity in PLoS One in June 2015.
The authors concluded: “…the findings from this work have enabled us to achieve two important objectives: (i) identify vaginal lactobacilli active against Candida spp. and (ii) characterize the mechanisms of action underlying antagonism toward pathogen.” Read the complete article here.