Bacterial Faecal Flora in Healthy Women of Different Ages
Minelli, E. Bertazzoni
Beghini, A. M.
- Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
(issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
The composition of the intestinal flora is the result of host physiology, microbial interaction and environmental influences. The possible relationship between faecal flora composition and hormonal modifications in healthy women of different ages was studied. Forty-four normal women were divided into the following groups according to age: group I, 2747 yr; group II, 50-55 yr, < 5 yr after menopause; group III, 56-78 yr, > 5 yr after menopause. The subjects received no pharmacological treatment. Samples were collected on the 8th and 23rd day of the cycle; two samples were obtained from each postmenopausal woman. Qualitative and quantitative determination of microorganisms was carried out using slightly modified standard methods. In fertile women (group I), the microflora composition was similar for samples collected on the 8th-10th day and during the premenstrual period (23rd day). In postmenopausal women (group III), an increase in fungi, clostridia and aerobic lactobacilli mean concentrations were observed. Escherichia coli mean levels increased and Enterobacteriaceae such as Enterobacter cloacae and Citrobacter freundii were present in 80 per cent of subjects studied. The length of menopause was found to have only a slight influence on flora: the behaviour of the microflora composition in menopausal women in group II may be considered intermediate between groups I and III. This preliminary study demonstrates that there are fluctuations in the composition of the faecal flora in healthy women. The differences observed between premenopausal and postmenopausal women may be a consequence of modifications of the steroid sex hormone pattern.Keywords - Intestinal flora; Age; Premenopausal women; Postmenopausal women; Menopause.