Supplementary Material for: Persistence of Lactobacilli in Postmenopausal Women - A Double-Blind, Randomized, Pilot Study

Aim: To investigate the ability of lactobacilli to persist in the genital area (vagina and labia) of women after the topical application of an ointment containing Lactobacillus gasseri LN40, L. fermentum LN99 and L. rhamnosus LN113. Secondary objectives were to study the presence of Escherichia coli and other contaminants, as well as subjective symptoms in the genital tract. Methods: Eighteen healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to use either the study product or placebo for 10 days. Gynecological examinations, labial and vaginal samplings for bacterial cultivation were performed at baseline (visit 1), after treatment (visit 2), and at a 10-day follow-up (visit 3). LN strains were identified by specific cultivation methods. Subjective symptoms were evaluated by a self-administered questionnaire. Results: The presence of LN99 was shown in 7 out of 8 women in the investigational group at visit 2 (p < 0.001 compared to placebo) and in 5 out of 8 at visit 3 (p < 0.05), whereas the presence of LN113 was shown in 2 out of 8 at visit 2 and in 1 out of 8 at visit 3. Subjective symptoms were significantly reduced (p < 0.01) at visits 2 and 3 for both products. Conclusion: Topical application of a probiotic ointment is feasible to achieve persistence of lactobacilli for at least 10 days.