Presentation Title

Buffering Capacity, pH, and Lactic Production of Lactobacilli

Faculty Mentor

Sylvia Vetrone

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 25

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Lactobacilli are the predominant bacteria found within the vaginal canal that produce lactic acid. The presence of this species of bacteria protects the vagina from infections and diseases, by overtaking foreign bacteria through their production of lactic acid that helps maintain the pH in the vagina at ~4.5. When the pH rises beyond the 4.5 opportunistic bacteria can take over and cause infection. The Lactobacilli attempt to bring balance back to the vagina when aerobic bacteria, such as G. vaginalis and C. trachomatis, infect the vagina. We hypothesized that L. rhamnosusand L. jenseniiwill maintain a pH of ~4.5 over a 24 hour period by producing lactic acid, even when challenged with a basic solution. Briefly, bacteria were grown over a period of 24 hours, and samples were taken at 8, 16, and 24 hour time points and assessed for pH, lactic acid production, and buffering capacity against a basic solution of 0.1 M NaOH. Our results show that both L. rhamnosus and L. jensenii maintained an average pH of 4.7, and both were able to effectively maintain that pH level when exposed to 0.1 M NaOH. Interestingly, while we expected both strains of Lactobacilli to produce similar amounts of L-lactic acid, we found that L. rhamnosus had produced much higher levels compared to L. jensenii over time. L. rhamnosus had an average production of 207.8 g/L compared to 2.4 g/L in L. jensenii. These results were very promising, and current efforts are focused on understanding if these strains also produce D-lactic acid, how the Lactobacilli compete with opportunistic bacteria to maintain regulation of the vagina, and if addition of Lactobacilli can reduced opportunistic strains once they have already been established.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Buffering Capacity, pH, and Lactic Production of Lactobacilli

CREVELING 25

Lactobacilli are the predominant bacteria found within the vaginal canal that produce lactic acid. The presence of this species of bacteria protects the vagina from infections and diseases, by overtaking foreign bacteria through their production of lactic acid that helps maintain the pH in the vagina at ~4.5. When the pH rises beyond the 4.5 opportunistic bacteria can take over and cause infection. The Lactobacilli attempt to bring balance back to the vagina when aerobic bacteria, such as G. vaginalis and C. trachomatis, infect the vagina. We hypothesized that L. rhamnosusand L. jenseniiwill maintain a pH of ~4.5 over a 24 hour period by producing lactic acid, even when challenged with a basic solution. Briefly, bacteria were grown over a period of 24 hours, and samples were taken at 8, 16, and 24 hour time points and assessed for pH, lactic acid production, and buffering capacity against a basic solution of 0.1 M NaOH. Our results show that both L. rhamnosus and L. jensenii maintained an average pH of 4.7, and both were able to effectively maintain that pH level when exposed to 0.1 M NaOH. Interestingly, while we expected both strains of Lactobacilli to produce similar amounts of L-lactic acid, we found that L. rhamnosus had produced much higher levels compared to L. jensenii over time. L. rhamnosus had an average production of 207.8 g/L compared to 2.4 g/L in L. jensenii. These results were very promising, and current efforts are focused on understanding if these strains also produce D-lactic acid, how the Lactobacilli compete with opportunistic bacteria to maintain regulation of the vagina, and if addition of Lactobacilli can reduced opportunistic strains once they have already been established.