Background For characterization of the vaginal microflora, it is often necessary to assess quantities of microorganisms. The study objective was to evaluate vaginal microflora in norm, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginitis (VV) using quantitative real-time PCR.
Methods A total of 255 women of reproductive age, who addressed a gynaecologist due to vaginal discharge, were included in the study. BV was diagnosed using the Amsel criteria and the Nugent score. VV was diagnosed on the basis of clinical presentation and microscopy results. The patients were divided into 3 groups: healthy (n = 128), BV (n = 48) and VV (n = 79). Vaginal swabs were analysed using a real-time PCR test (Femoflor, DNA-Technology, Russia), which assesses total bacteria, lactobacilli, anaerobic bacteria and genital mycoplasmas. The quantities of the microorganisms were summarised as median values in each group of patients.
Results In the group of healthy women, total bacteria were present in a median load of 7.9×106 DNA copies per reaction, in BV group - 3×107, in VV group - 6.7×106. The median loads of lactobacilli in the group of healthy women, BV and VV groups were 4×107, 1.4×104 and 1.6×106 copies per reaction, respectively. Quantities of Gardnerella vaginalis/Prevotella bivia/Porphiromonas spp. in the three groups were 2.5×102, 8.7×106 and 5.8×102 copies per reaction, respectively. Megasphaera spp./Veillonella spp./Dialister spp were present in the three groups in loads of 1, 4.3×105 and 5.8×101 copies per reaction, respectively. Atopobium vaginae was found in the three groups in quantities of 1, 2.1×106 and 1 copies per reaction, respectively. The median values of Mycoplasma hominis were equal in the three groups (median values 1 copy per reaction). The quantities of Ureaplasma urealyticum/parvum were 1.4.9×102 and 1 copies per reaction, respectively.
Conclusion Real-time PCR is a fast and accurate tool for the assessment of the vaginal microbiota.
- genital microflora
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