This week on BBS: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG protects children from acute diarrhea, intravaginal rings may be the delivery device of the future for vaginal probiotics, and probiotic species have the potential to modulate pharmacokinetics of oral drugs.
LGG to the Rescue in Acute Diarrhea
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is a probiotic species with promise, especially in promoting intestinal health. Research performed by Dr. K.N.C. Sindhu of the Christian Medical College in India now provides even more support. The research team administered LGG daily to children suffering from acute diarrhea. While the treatment did not help the current bout of diarrhea, the probiotics did induce a significant amount of protection against repeated diarrheal episodes. This was also associated with positive immunomodulatory changes.
Vaginal Probiotic Delivery
Bacterial communities in the vagina are essential to maintaining defenses against pathogenic microorganisms. This includes, not only yeast and vaginitis-causing bacteria, but also pathogens responsible for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Finding ways to deliver probiotics to the vagina could be an interesting, cost-effective way to ensure vaginal health. Dr. Manjula Gunawardana of the Oak crest Institute of Science considered that one of the best options could be an intravaginal ring coated with “pods” containing live bacteria. His initial studies show that prototype devices can slowly release bacteria for up to 21 days. These kinds of devices could, potentially, have many benefits for women, preventing diseases such as STDs, yeast infections, vaginitis and even urinary tract infections.
Pharmacokinetics and Probiotics
Microbiota studies have shown that gut bacteria have a huge influence on digestion and metabolism. This raises interesting questions about the fates of other kinds of substances that humans ingest and metabolize besides food, namely drugs. To answer this question, Dr. Zuzana Matuskova and her team at the Palacky University Olomouc in the Czech Republic administered the probiotic strain E. coli Nissle 1917 along with an antiarrhythmic drug, amiodarone, to rats. The combination increased the bioavailability of the drug by 43%. This increase was not seen when the drug was combined with a control bacterial strain, providing basic evidence that probiotics are capable of modifying the pharmacokinetics of orally administered drugs.
- Sindhu KN, Sowmyanarayanan TV, Paul A, Babji S, Ajjampur SS, Priyadarshini S et al. Immune response and intestinal permeability in children with acute gastroenteritis treated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG): a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis 2014. [Epub ahead of print]
- Matuskova Z, Anzenbacherova E, Vecera R, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H, Kolar M, Anzenbacher P. Administration of a Probiotic Can Change Drug Pharmacokinetics: Effect of E. coli Nissle 1917 on Amidarone Absorption in Rats. PLoS One 2014; 9(2): e87150.
- Gunawardana M, Mullen M, Yoo J, Webster P, Moss JA, Baum MM. Sustained Delivery of Commensal Bacteria from Pod-intravaginal Rings. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2014. [Epub ahead of print]