African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12294

Full Length Research Paper

16S rRNA gene sequence and phylogenetic tree of lactobacillus species from the vagina of healthy Nigerian women

Kingsley C. Anukam1, 2, 4*, Emmanuel O. Osazuwa2, Ijeoma Ahonkhai2 andGregor Reid1, 3
1Canadian Research & Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, 268 Grosvenor St., London, Ontario Canada. 2Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy University of Benin, Nigeria. 3Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Surgery, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. 4Chidak Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, 200 M.M. Way, Benin City, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 May 2005
  •  Published: 30 November 2005


Lactobacilli are ubiquitous in nature and in humans they play a very significant role in the general health maintenance of the host. Identification of lactobacilli has previously been based on culture-dependent methods and recently molecular techniques involving gene sequencing are now the ‘gold standard’. Scarce information exists in Africa on the real identity of Lactobacillus species, albeit phylogenetic distances among the species present in the human vagina. In this study, 185 vaginal swabs were collected from healthy premenopausal women (18 to 48 years). Bacterial DNA was extracted, amplified using PCR, with group specific Lactobacillus primers, and processed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Phylogenetic tree was constructed with the sequences of the V2-V3 region of 16S rRNA gene. Results show two distinct divisions among the Lactobacillus species. The study presents a new understanding of the nature of the Lactobacillus vaginal microbiota of women in Nigeria, which may lead to the design of probiotic-lactobacilli for biotherapy.  


Key words: Lactobacilli, gene sequence, phylogenetic tree, human vagina, Nigerian women.