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Bacterial vaginosis – a microbiological and immunological enigma: Review article

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Forsum U, Holst E, Larsson PG, Vasquez A, Jakobsson T, Mattsby-Baltzer I. Bacterial vaginosis – a microbiological and immunological enigma. Minireview. APMIS 2005;113:81–90.

The development of bacterial vaginosis (BV) among women of childbearing age and the resulting quantitative and qualitative shift from normally occurring lactobacilli in the vagina to a mixture of mainly anaerobic bacteria is a microbiological and immunological enigma that so far has precluded the formulation of a unifying generally accepted theory on the aetiology and clinical course of BV. This critical review highlights some of the more important aspects of BV research that could help in formulating new basic ideas respecting the biology of BV, not least the importance of the interleukin mediators of local inflammatory responses and the bacterial shift from the normally occurring lactobacilli species: L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. jensenii, and L. iners to a mixed flora dominated by anaerobic bacteria.

Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; Nugent scoring; ecology; immune response; lactobacilli; taxonomy

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: Medical Microbiology and 2: Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Linköping University, Departments of 3: Food Technology, Lund University, and 4: Department of Clinical Bacteriology, Göteborg University, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2005


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