Women may have natural defense against common STD

May 30, 2013
Women may have natural defense against common STD
'Trich' causes discomfort for some, but is symptomless in others.

(HealthDay)—Women appear to have a natural defense against the world's most common sexually transmitted infection, a new study says.

This natural protective barrier consists mainly of —called lactobacilli.

The finding appears online May 29 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The discovery could lead to new treatments for "trich," which affects an estimated 174 million women and men around the world each year, according to a journal news release.

Trich is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis or T. vaginalis. Symptoms of the infection include pain, irritation and discharge. About 50 percent of all people who have this condition, however, don't develop symptoms and are unaware that they are infected.

Researchers Augusto Simoes-Barbosa, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues examined how easily three different of T. vaginalis bound to vaginal cells. They repeated the process when nine different types of lactobacilli were also present.

In the vast majority of instances, lactobacilli prevented the parasite from binding to the cells. Some types of lactobacilli were better at preventing the parasite from binding to the than others, the study authors pointed out.

"This study reinforces the important role that our microbiomes play in health, infection and disease," they wrote. "Understanding the role that Lactobacillus plays in T. vaginalis infection/disease might reveal new , which include taking advantage of the natural probiotic activity of lactobacilli."

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about trich infections.

Related Stories

New research discoveries shed light on common STI

April 2, 2013

Research led by David H. Martin, MD, Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has found that a common sexually transmitted infection-causing parasite "cultivates" bacteria beneficial ...

Bacteria may contribute to premature births, STDs

April 23, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis points to a common species of bacteria as an important contributor to bacterial vaginosis, a condition linked to preterm birth and increased ...

Malaria's severity reset by mosquito

May 30, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—For the first time, researchers have proven that the way in which malaria is transmitted to the host affects how severe the resulting infection will be.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.