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Effects of oral probiotic supplements on vaginal microbiota during pregnancy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with microbiome analysis

Husain, S., Allotey, J., Drymoussi, Z. , Wilks, M., Fernandez-Felix, B. M., Whiley, A., Dodds, J., Thangaratinam, S., McCourt, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-4765-5795, Prosdocimi, E. M., Wade, W. G., de Tejada, B. M., Zamora, J., Khan, K. & Millar, M. (2019). Effects of oral probiotic supplements on vaginal microbiota during pregnancy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with microbiome analysis. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2019, doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.15675


OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects on the vaginal microbiota of an oral probiotic preparation administered from early pregnancy.

DESIGN: Randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial.

SETTING: Four maternity units in the UK.

POPULATION: Women aged 16 years or older recruited at 9-14 weeks' gestation.

METHODS: Participants were randomly allocated to receive oral capsules of probiotic containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 each at 2.5 × 109 colony-forming units (CFUs) or placebo once daily from recruitment until the end of pregnancy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Rates of bacterial vaginosis (BV, defined as Nugent score ≥7) at 18-20 weeks' gestation compared by logistic regression adjusted for possible confounders.

RESULTS: The primary analysis included 78% (238/304) of participants who initially consented (probiotic group 123, placebo group 115). Of these participants, 95% (227/238) reported an intake of 93% or more of the required number of capsules. The rates of BV did not differ between groups at 18-20 weeks' gestation (15% (19/123) in the probiotic group vs. 9% (10/115) in the placebo group, adjusted odds ratio 1.82, 95% confidence interval 0.64-5.19). There were also no differences between the groups in the proportion of women colonised with the probiotic strains, Escherichia coli, Group B streptococci or other vaginal microbiota. There were no differences in the alpha diversity or composition of the bacterial communities between or within the probiotic and placebo groups at 9-14 and 18-20 weeks' gestation.

CONCLUSIONS: Oral probiotics taken from early pregnancy did not modify the vaginal microbiota.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: The oral probiotic preparation used in this study does not prevent BV in pregnant women.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecologypublished by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes
Publisher Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, probiotic
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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