Antimicrobial Substances and Mechanisms of Lactobacillus rhamnosus against Gardnerella vaginalis

Yu Ping Huang, Jie Yan Shi, Si Chen Luo, Shao Yan Xu, Jia Dong Zhang, István Molnár, Qiong Qiong Yang, Bo Bo Zhang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal disease associated with abnormal changes in the vaginal microbiome. Our previous study found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus has a good therapeutic effect on bacterial vaginosis by inhibiting the most prominent bacterium associated with BV, Gardnerella vaginalis. In this study, we show that acetic acid and lactic acid are the main substances in the cell-free supernatant (CFS) of L. rhamnosus that inhibit the growth of G. vaginalis. Further study on the mechanism showed that acetic acid and lactic acid alter the morphology of the G. vaginalis cells, eventually causing the cells to shrink or burst, resulting in exudation of their intracellular contents. In addition, these two organic acids also dissipate the membrane potential of bacterial cells, affecting their synthesis of ATP. A reduced activity of the Na+/K+-ATPase leads to abnormal ATP metabolism, and ultimately inhibits the growth and reproduction of G. vaginalis. Our study provides valuable information for the widespread application of L. rhamnosus in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-410
Number of pages11
JournalProbiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Antimicrobial mechanisms
  • Antimicrobial substances
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Gardnerella vaginalis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus


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