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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 78248, 6 pages
Research Article

Safety Study of an Antimicrobial Peptide Lactocin 160, Produced by the Vaginal Lactobacillus rhamnosus

1School of Biotechnology, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 100 44, Sweden
2Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA
3Rush Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
4Health Promoting Naturals, Inc., Highland Park, NJ 08904, USA
5The Women's Hospital of Texas, Houston, TX 77054, USA

Received 11 October 2007; Accepted 12 November 2007

Copyright © 2007 Sara E. Dover et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the safety of the antimicrobial peptide, lactocin 160. Methods. Lactocin 160, a product of vaginal probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus 160 was evaluated for toxicity and irritation. An in vitro human organotypic vaginal-ectocervical tissue model (EpiVaginal) was employed for the safety testing by determining the exposure time to reduce tissue viability to 50% (ET-50). Hemolytic activity of lactocin160 was tested using 8% of human erythrocyte suspension. Susceptibility of lactobacilli to lactocin160 was also studied. Rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model was used for an in vivo safety evaluation. Results. The ET-50 value was 17.5 hours for lactocin 160 (4.9 hours for nonoxynol 9, N9). Hemolytic activity of lactocin 160 was 8.2% (N9 caused total hemolysis). Lactobacilli resisted to high concentrations of peptide preparation. The RVI model revealed slight vaginal irritation. An average irritation index grade was evaluated as “none.” Conclusions. Lactocin 160 showed minimal irritation and has a good potential for intravaginal application.