Effects of Yeast and Bacterial Commensals and Pathogens of the Female Genital Tract on the Transepithelial Electrical Resistance of HeLa Cells

Vassiliki Tsata1, Aristea Velegraki2, Anastasios Ioannidis3, Cornelia Poulopoulou1, Pantelis Bagos4, Maria Magana5, Stylianos Chatzipanagiotou5, *
1 Laboratory of Experimental Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Aeginition Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
2 Mycology Research Laboratory, Microbiology Department, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
3 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece
4 Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly, Greece
5 Department of Biopathology and Clinical Microbiology, Aeginition Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

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© Tsata et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Athens Medical School, Aeginition Hospital, Department of Biopathology and Clinical Microbiology, Vass. Sophias av. 72, 115 28 Athens, Greece; Tel/Fax: +30-2106004608; E-mails:,


Commensals of the human body can shift to a pathogenic phase when the host immune system is impaired. This study aims to investigate the effect of seven yeast and two bacterial commensals and opportunistic pathogens isolated from blood and the female genital tract on the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) of human cervical epithelial cell cultures (HeLa). The pathogens Candida tropicalis, C. parapsilosis,C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, caused a significant decrease in TER as compared to the controls; Lactobacillus spp caused a significant increase in TER versus the controls and Escherichia coli had no effect on the TER of the cell monolayers. The above data show that Candida spp., S. cerevisiae and Lactobacillus spp. have a non-selective effect on the TER of HeLa cell monolayers. These results are consistent with the in vivo non-selective action of these microorganisms on the various human mucosal epithelia.

Keywords: Candida, E. coli, HeLa cells, Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, Transepithelial electrical resistance.