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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Mar;168(3 Pt 1):988-94.

Perinatal effects of Gardnerella vaginalis deciduitis in the rabbit.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7836.



We determined the effects of intrauterine infection with Gardnerella vaginalis on maternal and fetal outcome in the rabbit.


Both uterine horns of rabbits on day 20 or 21 of gestation (70% of gestation) were inoculated hysteroscopically with either 0.2 ml of 10(5) to 10(7) CFU/ml of G. vaginalis or saline solution. Animals were killed on day 4 or earlier if premature delivery occurred. The following outcome parameters were evaluated: febrile morbidity, preterm labor and delivery, maternal cultures, fetal birth weight, and fetal neuropathologic findings.


G. vaginalis intrauterine inoculation uniformly resulted in amnionitis and deciduitis. Animals inoculated with G. vaginalis had no greater incidence of fever and preterm delivery than did saline-treated control animals. However, intrauterine infection with G. vaginalis resulted in a significant decrease in the live birth rate when compared with that of controls (80% vs 95%, p < 0.03). G. vaginalis deciduitis was associated with as 23% reduction in the birth weight of the surviving fetuses. Furthermore, animals in the G. vaginalis study group had a 60% incidence of severe brain injury compared with 0% in the saline solution group.


G. vaginalis amnionitis and deciduitis produced minimal maternal morbidity but were associated with decreased birth weight and brain injury in surviving fetuses; thus it appears that G. vaginalis selectively functions as a fetal, but not maternal, pathogen in the rabbit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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