Strong correspondence in bacterial loads between the vagina and rectum of pregnant women.

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


We sampled the vagina and rectum in 71 pregnant women and bacterial loads of Lactobacillus crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, L. iners, Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae were determined by culture and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

Culture and qPCR results differed substantially with regard to the evaluation of vaginal and rectal occurrence of the six species tested. The vaginal–rectal prevalence of L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, L. iners, G. vaginalis and A. vaginae as established by culture vs. PCR was 32.3 vs. 91.5%, 32.3 vs. 77.4%, 28.1 vs. 91.5%, 12.6 vs. 68.5%, 12.6 vs. 74.6% and 5.6 vs. 69.0%, respectively.

Using qPCR, a significant positive correlation was found between vaginal and rectal loads of L. crispatus (p < 0.0001), L. jensenii (p < 0.0001), L. gasseri (p = 0.005), L. iners (p = 0.003) and A. vaginae (p = 0.002).

In summary, significant correlations between quantities of vaginal and rectal lactobacilli and of Atopobium vaginae were established by means of qPCR, indicating strong correspondence of vaginal and rectal microflora, not only in the occurrence of certain species in both niches, but also of cell densities per bacterial species.


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

Publication (Name of Journal)

Research in Microbiology