Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in women and frequently recur. A depletion of vaginal lactobacilli, a type of bacteria, is associated with urinary tract infection risk, which logically suggests that replenishing these bacteria may be beneficial.
To this end, University of Washington researchers have just conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial to investigate the replacement theory further. Their results appear in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
In the study, 100 women with a history of recurrent UTIs received antibiotics for acute urinary tract infections. They were then randomized to receive either a Lactobacillus crispatus intravaginal suppository probiotic (LACTIN-V), or a placebo, for five days; then once a week for 10 weeks.
The results, says researcher Ann Stapleton, suggest that the probiotic may reduce the rate of recurrent UTIs in women prone to these infections. Of the 50 women who received LACTIN-V, 7 had at least one UTI. Of the 50 who received the placebo, 13 suffered UTIs.
Larger trials are needed, "to determine if use of vaginal Lactobacillus could replace long-term antimicrobial preventive treatments," she concluded.
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Source: Infectious Diseases Society of America