Orally consumed viable bacteria with proposed beneficial health effects, the so-called probiotics, are increasingly used to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It has been recently suggested that specifically selected lactobacilli could have a therapeutic role in female urogenital tract infections. It has been also suggested that some of these bacteria could be not intravaginally instilled, but also orally delivered. The authors investigate the ability of lactobacilli isolated from the vagina to survive gastrointestinal tract transit, and establish a link between the rate of intestinal survival and vaginal colonization.
From the *Istituto di Microbiologia, Facoltà di Agraria, U.C.S.C., Piacenza; and †Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria Maggiore, Novara, Struttura Complessa Gastroenterologia, Italy.
Received for publication January 14, 2004;
accepted February 12, 2004.
Reprints: L. Morelli, Istituto di Microbiologia, Facoltà di Agraria, U.C.S.C., Via Emilia Parmense 84, I-29100, Piacenza, Italy (e-mail: Lorenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org).