Adhesion of lactobacilli to polymer surfaces in vivo and in vitro
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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. © The Author(s) 2012.