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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Apr;167(2):205-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Sialidase activity in aerobic vaginitis is equal to levels during bacterial vaginosis.

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Department of Pathology, Botucatu Medical School, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Brazil.



To evaluate levels of proinflammatory cytokines and sialidase activity in aerobic vaginitis (AV) in relation to normal vaginal flora and bacterial vaginosis (BV).


In this cross-sectional study, a total of 682 consecutive non-pregnant women attending the gynecology service were assessed and 408 women were included. Vaginal rinsing samples were collected from 223 women with microscopic finding of BV (n=98), aerobic vaginitis (n=25) and normal flora (n=100). Samples were tested for interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and sialidase activity.


Compared to women with normal flora, vaginal levels of IL-1β were highly increased in both BV and AV (p<0.0001). Significantly higher vaginal IL-6 was detected in AV (p<0.0001) but not in BV, in relation to normal flora. Women with AV also presented increased IL-8 levels (p<0.001), while those with BV presented levels similar to normal flora. Sialidase was increased in BV and AV compared with the normal group (p<0.0001) but no difference in sialidase activity was observed between BV and AV.


A more intense inflammatory host response occurs for AV than for BV when compared with normal flora. Furthermore, the increased sialidase activity in AV and BV indicates that both abnormal vaginal flora types can be harmful to the maintenance of a healthy vaginal environment.

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