Gardnerella vaginalis

Gardnerella vaginalis is a facultative anaerobic, immobile, unencapsulated, non-sporulated bacillus bacterium that forms a characteristic mucilaginous layer. Is usually stained as Gram negative or Gram variable. It is the only species within the genus Gardnerella, belonging to the family Bifidobacteriaceae.

Clinical characteristics: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by a large number of anaerobic bacteria with a predominance of G. vaginalis. It is the most frequent vaginal infection in the world, constituting a public health problem due to its association with obstetric, gynecological pathology and the significant risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

About 50% of patients with bacterial vaginosis are asymptomatic. The clinical manifestations are variable: increase in vaginal discharge of grayish or whitish color, milky consistency, fishy smell vaginal burning, dysuria and dyspareunia. Itching sensation, burning, pain is also reported, which can be confused with other causes of vaginitis. Usually there are no signs of inflammation and the cervix is normal.

Diagnosis: Traditionally, BV has been diagnosed using the Amsel criteria or the Nugent score. However, Due to the methodological differences between these two diagnostic techniques, as well as a subjective component in interpretation, this translates into disparate results when comparing these methods.

Other molecular methods, mainly multiplex PCR, are now available for more accurate diagnosis, independent of the subjective interpretation of the researcher, and to obtain reproducible and standardised results, allowing simultaneous identification of the presence of the different pathogens involved in BV.

Treatment: Antiseptic and disinfectant treatments have been widely used, although the available evidence on the effect on BV is limited. Their advantage is the lack of resistance to antibiotics.

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