Author(s): Onderdonk AB, Delaney ML, Fichorova RN
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Abstract Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most commonly reported microbiological syndrome among women of childbearing age. BV is characterized by a shift in the vaginal flora from the dominant Lactobacillus to a polymicrobial flora. BV has been associated with a wide array of health issues, including preterm births, pelvic inflammatory disease, increased susceptibility to HIV infection, and other chronic health problems. A number of potential microbial pathogens, singly and in combinations, have been implicated in the disease process. The list of possible agents continues to expand and includes members of a number of genera, including Gardnerella, Atopobium, Prevotella, Peptostreptococcus, Mobiluncus, Sneathia, Leptotrichia, Mycoplasma, and BV-associated bacterium 1 (BVAB1) to BVAB3. Efforts to characterize BV using epidemiological, microscopic, microbiological culture, and sequenced-based methods have all failed to reveal an etiology that can be consistently documented in all women with BV. A careful analysis of the available data suggests that what we term BV is, in fact, a set of common clinical signs and symptoms that can be provoked by a plethora of bacterial species with proinflammatory characteristics, coupled to an immune response driven by variability in host immune function. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
This article was published in Clin Microbiol Rev
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents