Research Article

Contribution of Gardnerella vaginalis to vaginitis in a general practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.292.6536.1640 (Published 21 June 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1640
  1. T C O'Dowd,
  2. R R West,
  3. C D Ribeiro,
  4. J E Smail,
  5. J A Munro

    Abstract

    In a study of 154 adult women who presented to their general practitioner with vaginal symptoms 30 (20%) had Gardnerella vaginalis on its own and 51 (33%) had G vaginalis in combination with anaerobes or known pathogens. Thirty one (20%) patients were culture negative. Those who were culture negative had fewer symptoms and signs of vaginitis than those with G vaginalis alone or G vaginalis plus anaerobes. Those with known pathogens had more symptoms and signs than those with G vaginalis alone or G vaginalis plus anaerobes. Those with known pathogens plus G vaginalis had the most severe signs and symptoms of vaginitis. It is concluded that G vaginalis can cause vaginitis on its own, and it makes vaginitis worse when present with other organisms. G vaginalis was also found in 30 (21%) of the 138 control patients who, although they presented "asymptomatically," had worse signs than control patients without G vaginalis. It seems that G vaginalis can occur in a spectrum ranging from the uncomplaining patient to those with severe vaginitis.