Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Observed

Prevalence of Gardnerella vaginalis: an estimate

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 23 April 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1163
  1. R R West,
  2. T C O'Dowd,
  3. J E Smail


    To assess the prevalence of Gardnerella vaginalis in the community 300 women aged 16-59 were randomly selected from a general practice's age-sex register and invited to attend for a health check. Out of 282 women who were eligible to attend, 192 did so. They were asked whether they had any vaginal symptoms, and swabs were taken from 182 women for culture for G vaginalis. Sixty women were positive for G vaginalis, of whom 26 had symptoms.

    Infections with G vaginalis may be present in women who have no symptoms. By careful questioning, examination, and side room testing general practitioners may be able to diagnose these infections in such women consulting them for other reasons.