Since Bacteroides spp may play an important role together with Gardnerella vaginalis in the pathogenesis of non-specific vaginitis and balanoposthitis, anaerobic organisms were isolated and identified from 34 female and 20 male patients attending a department of genitourinary medicine, and the results compared with the clinical findings and the presence of other routinely isolated pathogens. Twenty-three different organisms were recovered from 13 of the 20 men; of these organisms, 20 were of the Bacteroides spp. Most isolates were of the B melaninogenicus/oralis group, which forms part of the commensal vaginal flora in women. A definite association between the presence of anaerobes and other pathogens needs to be firmly established, as this obviously causes important complications in treating these conditions.
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