Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 553–558 | Cite as

Is bacterial vaginosis a disease?

  • Gregor Reid


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) has been described as a disease, a disorder, a vaginal inflammation, an infection, a microbial dysbiosis, a condition, and in some women, a normal situation. In order to fit the definition of a disease, BV would have to be a disorder of function that produces specific signs or symptoms or affects the vagina in an aberrant way. Yet, there is little consistency in patients reporting signs and symptoms when BV is diagnosed, nor the appearance of aberrations to the vagina. If BV is not a disease, there are implications for its management and coverage of treatment costs, and for the conclusions drawn in a multitude of previous studies. It is time for BV to be redefined and for the various subsets to be given a separate terminology with specific methods of diagnosis and appropriate treatment and preventive strategies.


Bacterial vaginosis Disease Inflammation Microbiota Dysbiosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any original studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Microbiology & Immunology, and Surgery (Urology)Western University, and Lawson Health Research InstituteLondonCanada

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