Boosting antibiotic treatment: Probiotic intake increases cure rate of urinary tract infection

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Probiotic intake increases cure rate of urinary tract infection, according to studies. © Getty Images
Probiotic intake increases cure rate of urinary tract infection, according to studies. © Getty Images

Related tags Probiotics women's health Urinary tract infection

Consuming lactobacillus boost the effects of antibiotic treatments in women with UTIs and other inflammatory problems by improving the vaginal microbiota, a meta-analysis has shown.

Dr Jurgen Schrezenmeir, professor of internal medicine at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, who was involved in the meta-analysis, highlighted the point when speaking at  a summit in China, organised by the Health Products Association.

UTI and other vagina inflammatory conditions are caused by vaginosis, a condition characterised by the lack of lactobacilli. Lactobacilli is needed for maintaining the normal vaginal pH of 3.8 to 4.4.

In a systemic review and meta-analysis of four RCTs, Dr Schrezenmeir and his team found that lactobacillus consumption had significant effect in improving microbial pattern in women suffering from vaginosis related conditions.

The lactobacillus strains studied  in the four RCTs were L. crispatus lBV 88, L. gasseri LbV 150N, L. jensenii LbV 116, ​and L. rhamnosus LbV 96.

One of the RCTs involved 36 women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis (BV). The intervention group consumed yogurt containing lactobacillus along with the antibiotic metronidazole for four weeks.

This study conducted by Laue et al, was published in 2017. Result showed that the recovery rate of the experiment group was 100% while that of the placebo group was 76.5 based on nugent score – which is the gram stain scoring system for vaginal swabs to diagnose BV.

 “The effects were significant and homogeneous, even though the sample size of the studies was rather small and the examined populations differed considerably, across women with bacterial vaginosis, women with breast cancer under chemotherapy, and transsexual women. 

“There is evidence from this systematic review and meta-analysis that the oral intake of the pertinent Lactobacillus strains improves the microbial pattern in vaginal dysbiosis,”​ Dr Schrezenmeir said.

A reason could be because the aforementioned lactobacilli could reduce the number of clue cells, which is a sign of bacterial vaginosis.


Other than improving the cure rate of inflammatory conditions, Dr Schrezenmeir also concluded that consuming probiotics to increase lactobacilli count could help maintain a normal vaginal milieu.

Out of the four strains studied in the meta-analysis, two strains, L. crispatus ​and L. jensenii, ​were identified to help protect against vaginal dysbiosis.


Source: PubMed

Impact of oral administration of four Lactobacillus strains on Nugent score - systematic review and meta-analysis


Authors: de Vrese M, et al

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