Culture-independent analysis of vaginal microflora: the unrecognized association of Atopobium vaginae with bacterial vaginosis

Hans Verstraelen, Ghent University
Rita Verhelst, Ghent University
Geert Claeys, Ghent University
Marleen Temmerman, Aga Khan University
Mario Vaneechoutte, Ghent University

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Although the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis remains elusive, a few microorganisms, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, are considered markers on Gram stain or culture. Culture-independent analysis of vaginal microflora using 16S rDNA cloning and sequencing of total bacterial communities reveals the gram-positive Atopobium vaginae as a predominant species in disturbed vaginal flora.