Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Feb;208(2):132.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.11.019. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Associations between vaginal bacteria and levels of vaginal defensins in pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harborview Women's Clinic, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.



We evaluated vaginal defensin concentrations and levels of bacterial vaginosis-associated bacterial species in pregnant women.


Self-collected vaginal swabs from 2 visits during pregnancy were tested with quantitative polymerase chain reaction for 9 bacterial species. Beta defensins 2-3 and alpha defensins 1-3 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Our 126 participants were primarily African American (60%), had a mean gestational age at enrollment of 10 ± 3 weeks and at follow-up visit of 25 ± 6 weeks. At enrollment, the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis was 74% (94/126 women), which decreased to 60% (75/126 specimens) at follow-up visit. At enrollment, beta defensin 3 concentrations were significantly lower in women with bacterial vaginosis (2.64 ± 0.91 vs 3.25 ± 0.99 log(10) pg/mL; P = .003). Higher concentrations of Atopobium vaginae, bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria1 and 2 were associated with significantly lower concentrations of beta defensin 3 (P < .01).


Bacterial vaginosis was associated with lower vaginal concentrations of beta defensin 3, but not beta defensin 2 or alpha defensins 1-3, in pregnant women.

Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central Icon for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Ctr Arnold Library
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk