The Rationale for Probiotics Improving Reproductive Health and Pregnancy Outcome

Authors

  • Jennifer N. S. Reid,

    1. University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
    2. Human Microbiology and Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
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  • Jordan E. Bisanz,

    1. Human Microbiology and Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
    2. Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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  • Marc Monachese,

    1. Human Microbiology and Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
    2. Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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  • Jeremy P. Burton,

    1. Human Microbiology and Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
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  • Gregor Reid

    Corresponding author
    1. Human Microbiology and Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
    2. Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
    3. Surgery, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
    • University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
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Correspondence

Gregor Reid, Lawson Health Research Institute, F3-106, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2.

E-mail: gregor@uwo.ca

Abstract

Problem

Medical problems of most importance to reproductive health of women differ to some extent between the developed world and resource-disadvantaged countries. Nevertheless, many share a common link in microbial involvement.

Method of study

A review of the peer-reviewed literature on microbiota, probiotics, and reproductive health.

Results

Indigenous and probiotic lactobacilli express properties antagonistic to pathogens, but complementary to host immunity. These organisms are associated with conception, reducing the risk of infection, as well as potentially lowering the risk of a number of complications of pregnancy that otherwise lead to maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.

Conclusions

The ability to manipulate the microbiome and to improve immunity through probiotics holds much promise. The lack of improvements over the past 40 years in managing urogenital infections in women is incomprehensible. Support for innovative diagnostic and treatment options is needed, including testing and implementing probiotic therapies, especially for women with poor access to healthcare and good nutrition.

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