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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2002 Dec 13;34(4):277-81.

Detection of bacterial vaginosis-related organisms by real-time PCR for Lactobacilli, Gardnerella vaginalis and Mycoplasma hominis.

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Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush University, 1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of detecting bacterial vaginosis (BV)-related organisms in stored genital tract specimens using real-time PCR. Frozen cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) samples from 21 women were analyzed by real-time PCR for the numbers of Mycoplasma hominis, Gardnerella vaginalis and lactobacilli. Lactobacilli organisms were detected in all CVL samples, G. vaginalis was detected in all but one sample, while M. hominis was detected in only six samples. Using the Amsel criteria to define BV, the samples from women with BV had significantly higher numbers of G. vaginalis organisms than samples from women without BV (P=0.004). In contrast, the number of lactobacilli organisms in BV samples was significantly lower (P=0.013). The number of M. hominis organisms was not significantly different between BV-positive and BV-negative samples. A striking relationship was observed where most of the samples contained high numbers of either lactobacilli or G. vaginalis but not both. These results show that it is possible to determine the presence of BV-related organisms in stored genital tract samples by PCR, suggesting that this could be developed into an objective method that could be useful for certain applications.

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