ROELMI HPC will present the latest research on Intimique™ Femme and probiotic for women’s health during the 12th International Scientific Conference on Probiotics, Prebiotics, Gut Microbiota and Health – IPC 2018.
Budapest, 18th – 21st June 2018, leading scientists from industry and academia will present current advances in understanding and influencing the interaction between gut microbiota and human health. The scientific program will debate themes concerning research, production and use of probiotics and prebiotics with particular focus on their role in maintaining health and preventing diseases, through evidence-based benefits, proven health claims in scientific experiments and clinical trials. ROELMI HPC will take this opportunity to present the latest studies on probiotics and vaginal microbiome, and their possible application in providing new effective solutions for women’s health.
Here the abstract of the work that will be presented at #IPC2018: “Long-Term Evaluation of Multi-Strains Probiotic Supplement (Intimique™ Femme) in Reducing the Recurrences Rate of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) in Women Treated With Antibiotic.”
- Supplementation with Intimique™ Femme showed a greater reduction in all BV clinical markers, compared to control group treated only with antibiotic.
- Wet mount microscopy confirmed the recovery of vaginal Lactobacillus spp. in over 95% of women who followed the supplementation program. Particularly, only 6% still shows a dysbiotic microbiota compared to more than 30% in the control group.
- During the first month after antibiotic therapy, it was observed a reduction of new BV events from over 40% in control group to below 22% in active.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is one of the most common causes of genital discomfort in women of reproductive age. It is associated with a significant negative impact on self-esteem, sexual relationships and quality of life. Experts consider it as epitome of vaginal dysbiosis, meaning a condition characterized by a perturbed or imbalanced microbiota, where dominant Lactobacillus species are overwhelmed by exogenous or minority ones, such as Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae. Dysbiotic vaginal microbiota can result in severe recurrent symptoms and serious reproductive health consequences. For example, BV is associated with an increased risk of acquiring a broad range of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and HPV, and with important reproductive and obstetric sequelae, increasing women’s risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, low birth weight, and postpartum endometritis. Recently, cervical microbiome dysbiosis has been associated with idiopathic infertility.
Current clinical approaches involve the use of antimicrobials with broad-spectrum coverage. Antibiotic indeed disrupt the whole bacterial community, without any distinguish between species. Studies with extended follow-up show that recurrence rates occur over 50% within 6 months. As hypothesis, researchers suggest that the pathogenic biofilm formation over the vaginal epithelium has a major role in recurrences spreading. This is supported by the fact that biofilm acts as microbial reservoir and can provide a defensive barrier against anti-infective agents. In biofilms, niches of few antimicrobial-survived pathogen cells have the path clear for spreading again the infection, recolonizing the epithelium without any competition from other microorganism. Some probiotic strains showed antimicrobial properties, linked to their ability to produce bacteriocins, lactic acid or hydrogen peroxide.
In order to avoid the re-growth of harmful bacteria after antibiotic treatment, a first effective approach was to provide probiotics directly in the vagina, but it clashes with EU laws. Therefore, we suggest re‐populating the native and healthy Lactobacillus-composed microbiota by oral probiotics supplementation.
In a previous work, we screened a collection of probiotic strains and selected the best three strains able to inhibit a wide set of harmful, biofilm-forming, vaginal pathogens . These strains resulted effective in colonizing selectively the human vaginal epithelium after oral administration by a RDBCT .
This randomized controlled open study aims to evaluate the effect of a probiotic food supplement in reducing BV recurrences rate, restoring microbiota composition and improving symptoms by counteracting the regrowth of harmful bacteria after antibiotic therapy, in a short- and long-term intervention study.
Seventy-five participants, with confirmed bacterial vaginosis diagnosis (presence of three out of four Amsel’s criteria), received antibiotic therapy according to physician examination. Fifty voluntaries, after receiving product information and signed the informed consensus, started a supplementation program with Intimique™ Femme, 3 Billion CFU per dose. The remaining twenty-five women composed the control group, treated only with antibiotic. Clinicians followed all seventy-five women with the same visit schedule, observing variation in symptoms, microbiome composition and recurrences rate during five months after antibiotic therapy.
Active group posology: 1 cps/day for 14 consecutive days during the first month and 1 cps /day for 7 consecutive days each month, during next four months.
Women who followed the supplementation program with Intimique™ Femme, 3 Billion CFU per daily dose for 14 consecutive days, showed a reduction of new BV-episodes during the following month: from 40% (control group) to 22% (active group). Objective physician examination and vaginal wet mount microscopy supported this result, showing a greater microbiota restoration and a general symptoms improvement in the active group compared to reference group.
This work provides evidence that orally administered probiotics are able to modulate vaginal microbiota, increasing the number of administered species in a selective manner.
Although preliminary, the ability to modulate the composition of the vaginal microbiota resulted in decreased number of new BV-episodes during the first month after antibiotic treatment.
The study is still ongoing, we will update soon with the long-term results.
Presti I. (2015) Evaluation of the probiotic properties of new Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains and their in vitro effect. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 99(13) 5613-26.Mezzasalma V. (2017) Orally administered multispecies probiotic formulations to prevent uro-genital infections: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 295(1) 163-172.