OPEN Scientific reports | 18 Jan 2014
L Petricevic, U Kaufmann, KJ Domig, M Kraler, J Marschalek, W Kneifel and H Kiss
There is a general opinion that penile skin lined neovagina of transsexual women is not able to support the growth of lactobacilli. This study was undertaken to prove if lactobacilli strains could survive in neovagina and to characterise the most dominant Lactobacillus species. Sixty three male-to-female transsexual women without abnormal vaginal discharge, clinical signs of infection were recruited on an ongoing basis from among transsexual outpatients in an academic research institution and tertiary care centre. Neovaginal smears were taken for molecular Lactobacillus spp. profiling by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Lactobacillus species were detected from 47/63 transsexual women (75%). The 279 Lactobacillus signals detected by PCR-DGGE technique belonged to 13 different species. Lactobacilli of the L. delbrueckii group (L. gasseri, L. crispatus, L. johnsonii, L. iners, L. jensenii) were predominant. More than 90% of women harboured a combination of two or more neovaginal Lactobacillus species. In this study we report the frequent occurrence of lactobacilli from neovagina of transsexual women. Both, frequency and composition were similar to the normal lactic acid bacterial microflora in both women of reproductive age and postmenopausal women.
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