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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 77-79
Canadian STI Best Practice Laboratory Guidelines

The Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Vaginosis

Deborah Money

Maternal & Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an extremely common health problem for women. In addition to the troublesome symptoms often associated with a disruption in the balance of vaginal flora, BV is associated with adverse gynecological and pregnancy outcomes. Although not technically a sexually transmitted infection, BV is a sexually associated condition. Diagnostic tests include real-time clinical/microbiological diagnosis, and the current gold standard, the standardized evaluation of morphotypes on Gram stain analysis. The inappropriate use of vaginal culture can be misleading. Future developments into molecular-based diagnostics will be important to further understand this complex endogenous flora disruption.