Rabbit Microbiota and Probiotics Help Itchy Noses

Baby rabbits
Besides providing milk, mother rabbits provide microbiota to their young.
This week on BBS: A probiotic helps stop itchy noses in allergy patients, mother rabbits support bacterial colonization of their young and vaginal bacteria can disrupt the vaginal immune barrier.

Probiotic for Itchy Noses

There are indications that probiotics can be used for allergic rhinitis. To confirm findings found previously for Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461, researchers compared this strain to a combination of L. acidophilus ATCC SD5221 and Bifidobacterium lactis ATCC SD5219 in patients allergic to grass pollen. In a double blind, randomized, cross-over study, they found that L. paracasei NCC2461 did not help congestion, but could significantly reduce itching as compared to the probiotic blend.

Mother Rabbits Supplement Intestinal Bacteria

Several weeks after baby rabbits are born, the mother excretes a special fecal pellet that is eaten by the young. French researchers suspected that these pellets could help colonize the ceca of the rabbits. In a large experiment, they modulated the access of fecal pellets to the young. They found that limiting ingestion of the fecal pellets delayed the proper colonization of the young rabbit’s ceca.

Vaginal Microbiota and Vaginal Health

Vaginal infections increase susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To determine how this occurs, German scientists investigated the effects of different bacteria on the immune response in vaginal epithelial cells using a special 3-D cell culture. They found that good bacteria, like Lactobacilli, were well tolerated. However Atopobium vaginae, a well known propagator of bacterial vaginosis, caused a strong immune response that ultimately damaged the barrier function of the cells. This response is a possible reason why STDs are associated with bacterial vaginosis.