Could Probiotics Be an Option for Treating and Preventing Urogenital Infections?

Gregor Reid, PhD, MBA, Andrew W. Bruce, MD, FRCS

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Considering the enormity of the problem in terms of women infected per year, urogenital infections receive far too little attention from scientists, government funding agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry. A recent resurgence in interest among clinicians is a result of consumer demands for better therapies, problems resulting from drug resistance, and the prospect of new diagnostics and treatments on the horizon. It is now recognized that the intestinal and urogenital microflora are critical for the health and well-being of humans. The concept of replenishing these flora with probiotic organisms seems to be an option that has a growing scientific basis. Although few strains have been selected and targeted for urogenital applications, and none are currently available on the market, evidence shows that probiotic therapy has the potential to make an impact on women's health.

Annually, it is estimated that 1 billion women around the world suffer from nonsexually transmitted urogenital infections, including bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infection (UTI), and yeast vaginitis.[1] These disease entities provide the clinician and the microbiologist with both a diagnostic and treatment challenge.


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