Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


Student Research Opportunities Program


• Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent vaginal infection, affecting 30% of reproductive age women in the United States and worldwide.

• BV is characterized by a shift in the vaginal microbiome from a dominance of Lactobacilli to the overgrowth of vaginal pathogens (specifically Gardnerella vaginalis).

• Some common complications include adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

• Current treatment primarily involves antibiotics, but this is ineffective due to high antibiotic resistance and BV recurrence rates of 50%. Thus, a more permanent cure is sought.

• Lactobacilli probiotics are a promising alternative to antibiotics. They have shown success in reestablishing healthy flora, inhibiting pathogen growth, and reducing recurrence.

• Probiotics have been administered both orally and intravaginally, but vaginal delivery is preferred.

• Unfortunately, present vaginal dosage forms require frequent administration, thereby decreasing user adherence and efficacy.

• Only one sustained release probiotic dosage form, in the form of pod intravaginal rings, has been published to date. However this design leads to discomfort and is susceptible to biofilm formation.

• Therefore, an intravaginal probiotic delivery platform capable of sustained release and that offers women flexibility in dosage forms is necessary.

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Biology Commons