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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.

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

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

STUDY DESIGN:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

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