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1.  Efficacy of Rifaximin Vaginal Tablets in Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis: a Molecular Characterization of the Vaginal Microbiota 
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal disorder characterized by an alteration of the vaginal bacterial morphotypes, associated with sexually transmitted infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of different doses of rifaximin vaginal tablets (100 mg/day for 5 days, 25 mg/day for 5 days, and 100 mg/day for 2 days) on the vaginal microbiota of 102 European patients with BV enrolled in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. An integrated molecular approach based on quantitative PCR (qPCR) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) was used to investigate the effects of vaginal tablets containing the antibiotic. An increase in members of the genus Lactobacillus and a decrease in the BV-related bacterial groups after the antibiotic treatment were demonstrated by qPCR. PCR-DGGE profiles confirmed the capability of rifaximin to modulate the composition of the vaginal microbial communities and to reduce their complexity. This molecular analysis supported the clinical observation that rifaximin at 25 mg/day for 5 days represents an effective treatment to be used in future pivotal studies for the treatment of BV.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00061-12
PMCID: PMC3421556  PMID: 22585228
2.  Dietary supplementation with probiotics during late pregnancy: outcome on vaginal microbiota and cytokine secretion 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:236.
Background
The vaginal microbiota of healthy women consists of a wide variety of anaerobic and aerobic bacterial genera and species dominated by the genus Lactobacillus. The activity of lactobacilli helps to maintain the natural healthy balance of the vaginal microbiota. This role is particularly important during pregnancy because vaginal dismicrobism is one of the most important mechanisms for preterm birth and perinatal complications. In the present study, we characterized the impact of a dietary supplementation with the probiotic VSL#3, a mixture of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus strains, on the vaginal microbiota and immunological profiles of healthy women during late pregnancy.
Results
An association between the oral intake of the probiotic VSL#3 and changes in the composition of the vaginal microbiota of pregnant women was revealed by PCR-DGGE population profiling. Despite no significant changes were found in the amounts of the principal vaginal bacterial populations in women administered with VSL#3, qPCR results suggested a potential role of the probiotic product in counteracting the decrease of Bifidobacterium and the increase of Atopobium, that occurred in control women during late pregnancy. The modulation of the vaginal microbiota was associated with significant changes in some vaginal cytokines. In particular, the decrease of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 was observed only in control women but not in women supplemented with VSL#3. In addition, the probiotic consumption induced the decrease of the pro-inflammatory chemokine Eotaxin, suggesting a potential anti-inflammatory effect on the vaginal immunity.
Conclusion
Dietary supplementation with the probiotic VSL#3 during the last trimester of pregnancy was associated to a modulation of the vaginal microbiota and cytokine secretion, with potential implications in preventing preterm birth.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01367470
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-236
PMCID: PMC3493352  PMID: 23078375
3.  Impact of a synbiotic food on the gut microbial ecology and metabolic profiles 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:4.
Background
The human gut harbors a diverse community of microorganisms which serve numerous important functions for the host wellbeing. Functional foods are commonly used to modulate the composition of the gut microbiota contributing to the maintenance of the host health or prevention of disease. In the present study, we characterized the impact of one month intake of a synbiotic food, containing fructooligosaccharides and the probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus Bar13 and Bifidobacterium longum Bar33, on the gut microbiota composition and metabolic profiles of 20 healthy subjects.
Results
The synbiotic food did not modify the overall structure of the gut microbiome, as indicated by Polymerase Chain Reaction-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). The ability of the probiotic L. helveticus and B. longum strains to pass through the gastrointestinal tract was hypothesized on the basis of real-time PCR data. In spite of a stable microbiota, the intake of the synbiotic food resulted in a shift of the fecal metabolic profiles, highlighted by the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (GC-MS/SPME) analysis. The extent of short chain fatty acids (SCFA), ketones, carbon disulfide and methyl acetate was significantly affected by the synbiotic food consumption. Furthermore, the Canonical discriminant Analysis of Principal coordinates (CAP) of GC-MS/SPME profiles allowed a separation of the stool samples recovered before and after the consumption of the functional food.
Conclusion
In this study we investigated the global impact of a dietary intervention on the gut ecology and metabolism in healthy humans. We demonstrated that the intake of a synbiotic food leads to a modulation of the gut metabolic activities with a maintenance of the gut biostructure. In particular, the significant increase of SCFA, ketones, carbon disulfide and methyl acetate following the feeding period suggests potential health promoting effects of the synbiotic food.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-4
PMCID: PMC2806344  PMID: 20055983

Results 1-3 (3)