Time for probiotics.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology
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Urinary tract infections remain a common problem, particularly in the female population. New methods are required to manage recurrent cystitis, and extensive research to date has suggested that restoration of the lactobacilli flora of the urogenital tract may prevent these infections. In this study, five females suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections were treated twice weekly with intravaginal and perineal implantation of Lactobacillus casei GR-1. These organisms colonized the epithelium and prevented the emergence of coliform bacteria in most instances, but did not appear to affect enterococcal colonization. In vitro studies showed that L. casei GR-1 inibited the growth of the coliforms but did not inhibit enterococci. Each of the five patients had infection-free periods ranging from 4 weeks to 6 months. The treatment was well tolerated, had no side effects, led to an improved well-being, and was preferred to antibiotic treatment by all of the patients. These human studies, albeit of a limited nature, are the first to examine the potential for lactobacillus therapy in the prevention of urinary tract infections. The results show that lactobacilli therapy, using carefully selected organisms to treat patients who are closely followed, may be effective in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections.