Hydrogen Peroxide-Producing Lactobacilli Inhibit Gonococci In Vitro but Not during Experimental Genital Tract Infection

Muench, Dawn F.; Kuch, David J.; Hong Wu; Begum, Afrin A.; Veit, Sandra J.; Pelletier, Marie-Eve; Soler-García, Ángel A.; Jerse, Ann E.
May 2009
Journal of Infectious Diseases;5/1/2009, Vol. 199 Issue 9, p1369
Academic Journal
Commensal lactobacilli that produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) inhibit Neisseria gonorrhoeae in vitro, and clinical data suggest that they are associated with a reduced risk of gonorrhea. We precolonized mice with Lactobacillus crispatus and then challenged them with N. gonorrhoeae, to measure the effects of H2O2-producing lactobacilli on gonococcal infection. We found no difference in the duration of infection or the number of gonococci recovered from untreated mice and mice colonized with L. crispatus. A gonococcal catalase mutant and a catalase, cytochrome C peroxidase mutant exhibited greater susceptibility to L. crispatus in vitro than did wild-type bacteria; however, recovery of these mutants from mice was not affected by L. crispatus. We also found no evidence that utilization of lactobacillus-produced lactate by N. gonorrhoeae balances the detrimental effects of H2O2 during infection. We conclude that the association between lactobacilli and gonococci is complex and may be subject to factors that have not been reproduced in vitro.


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