European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 383–390 | Cite as

Bacterial vaginosis: Prevalence in an Italian population of asymptomatic pregnant women and diagnostic aspects

  • Leone Cristiano
  • Stefania Rampello
  • Claudio Noris
  • Virginio Valota


The present study has been carried out with the main objective of determining the prevalence rate of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in a population of asymptomatic pregnant women (8th to 9th month of pregnancy). Out of a total 1,441 patients examined BV was found to be present in 70 (4.9%). The diagnosis was made when an analysis of the vaginal discharge revealed the simultaneous presence of at least three out of four of the following laboratory indices: (1) direct Gram stain positive (bacterial flora mixed with Gram-negative coccobacilli and variablegram predominant over the lactobacillus flora); (2) pH > 4.5; (3) positive odour test with KOH 10%; (4) presence of clue cells. After a discussion of the principal laboratory and clinical signs presently used for the diagnosis of BV, the authors suggest the exclusion of the evaluation of the appearance of the vaginal discharge from the standard diagnostic criteria. Further, three diagnostic methods are hypothesized for use in different settings.

Key words

Bacterial vaginosis Diagnostic criteria Pregnant women Prevalence 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leone Cristiano
    • 1
  • Stefania Rampello
    • 2
  • Claudio Noris
    • 1
  • Virginio Valota
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio di Analisi Chimico Cliniche e MicrobiologicheOspedale P. Fenaroli di Alzano Lombardo (BG)Italy
  2. 2.Divisione di Ostetricia e GinecologiaOspedale P. Fenaroli di Alzano Lombardo (BG)Italy

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