Atopobium vaginae

It is a bacterium that belongs to the genus Atopobium of the family Coriobacteriaceae. It is a facultative anaerobic cocobacillus, gram-positive, rod-shaped or elliptical bacteria found as individual elements, in pairs or short chains. It is usually isolated in 80% of women with bacterial vaginosis and is implicated in treatment failures.

Clinical characteristics: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in the world, with A. vaginae detected in 75% of women with BV. This disease is a public health problem because of its association with obstetric and gynaecological pathology and the significant risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Individuals who have infection with both G. vaginalis and A. vaginae are more likely to have recurrence. 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.

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