European Journal of Clinical Microbiology

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 536–541

Bacterial vaginosis: Microbiological and clinical findings


  • E. Holst
    • Department of Medical Microbiology
    • Institute of Clinical BacteriologyUniversity of Uppsala
  • B. Wathne
    • Community Health Centre
  • B. Hovelius
    • Department of Research in Primary Health Care
  • P. -A. Mårdh
    • Institute of Clinical BacteriologyUniversity of Uppsala

DOI: 10.1007/BF02014242

Cite this article as:
Holst, E., Wathne, B., Hovelius, B. et al. Eur. J, Clin. Microbiol. (1987) 6: 536. doi:10.1007/BF02014242


A prospective study was performed involving 101 women who consecutively attended a primary health care unit for complaints of genital malodour and/or abnormal vaginal discharge. Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed in 34 women on the basis of four diagnostic criteria: vaginal pH > 4.7, homogeneous vaginal discharge, a positive amine test and clue cells. The sensitivity of these criteria was > 90 % except for homogeneous discharge (82 %). Their specificity was > 90% except for vaginal pH > 4.7 (46%); a specificity of 87% could have been achieved by using the criterion for vaginal pH ⩾ 5.0. There was a strong association between diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis and the concomitant occurrence ofGardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncusspp. andBacteroidesspp. There was no difference between women with or without bacterial vaginosis as regards contraception methods (except for use of an intrauterine device), age at first intercourse, or earlier episodes of vaginal discharge. Sexual transmission of the predominant bacteria was not supported by data collected from the male consorts.

Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1987