Send to

Choose Destination
Microb Pathog. 2019 Feb;127:21-30. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2018.11.046. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Bacterial vaginosis: An insight into the prevalence, alternative treatments regimen and it's associated resistance patterns.

Author information

Atta-Ur-Rahman School of Applied Bio-Sciences, Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan.
Department of Biosciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Park Road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan.
Atta-Ur-Rahman School of Applied Bio-Sciences, Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address:


Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a complex polymicrobial infection of vagina that shifts the paradigms of vaginal flora from lactobacilli to opportunistic pathogens. BV is catagorized by greyish white discharge, pH greater than 4.5. It results in the preterm labor, abortion, pelvic inflammatory disorders, post cesarean infections. BV is associated with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or immune deficiency disorders like Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The prevalence rate is about 21.2 million (29.2%) worldwide. BV is more frequent in black females as compared to white females, independent of geographical distribution. Globally, BV is treated with the current recommended antibiotic therapy including Metronidazole and Clindamycin. The recurrence rates are 76% and occur within 06 months of treatment due to antibiotic resistance against pathogenic bacteria and their biofilms. The antibiotic resistance is a global health issue which directs the attentions towards other treatments. One of these is the treatment of sex partners, thus helping to stop the recurrence rates in females. However, this method does not show any positive results. Probiotic therapy is an incorporation of Lactobacilli orally or intravaginally for the recolonization of healthy microbes. This therapy has exhibited promising results but some studies revealed that Probiotic therapy does not control the recurrence rate. The other methods are in trials period and none of them are used clinically or commercially available for the treatment. The thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) intravaginal rings contain lactic acid and metronidazole showed promising results in trials of BV treatment. The vaginal acidifiers are used as an alternative method to maintain the vaginal pH but the process of douching is a major limitation. The activated charcoal is used to treat BV patients in clinical trials showed decrease in the pH with only 3.1% loss of lactobacilli. Phage therapy is a reemerging field to overcome the bacterial resistance. They are host specific and easier to handle. They can be used naturally, synthetically; phage cocktails and phage-antibiotics combination can be used. Phages show auspicious results for the treatment of bacterial infections as compared to antibiotics as they also treat biofilms. This is one of the promising therapy in future to treat infections with no side effects. Phage therapy can be used in pharmaceuticals according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Taken together, it is suggested that large funding is required by pharmaceutical sector or government for further investigation of bacteriophages to be used against BV pathogenesis.


Antibiotic resistance; Epidemiology; Phage therapy; Probiotics; STD's; TPU

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center