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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 1, Issue 6, Pages 265-268
Clinical Study

Microbiology of Bartholin's Duct Abscess

1Department of Clinical Microbiology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, Tampere FIN-33521, Finland
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
3Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

Received 24 February 1994; Accepted 27 April 1994

Copyright © 1994 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.


Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the currently most frequent microbial findings in Bartholin's duct abscess.

Methods: Computerized records of microbial findings of 249 cases of Bartholin's duct abscess were retrospectively studied.

Results: In 129 cases, only 1 microbe and, in 117 cases, >1 microbe were recovered. In 3 cases, the flora was recorded as normal for the lower genital tract. Of all bacteria isolated, 252 were aerobic or facultative and 108 were anaerobic or microaerophilic. Aerobic or facultative bacteria alone caused 142 (57%) of the 249 cases, Escherichia coli being the most frequent isolate in this group. Anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria alone caused 33 cases (13%), Bacteroides species and Prevotella species being most frequently identified. Both aerobic or facultative and anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria were isolated in 70 cases (28%). Candida albicans alone caused 1 case of Bartholin's duct abscess. The sexually transmitted pathogens Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis were both involved in only 2 cases.

Conclusions: Bartholin's duct abscess was mainly caused by opportunistic bacteria, and sexually transmitted pathogens were only rarely involved in its pathogenesis. Since potentially pathogenic bacterial species were also frequently isolated, the use of antibiotics to complement the surgical treatment of Bartholin's duct abscess seems advisable, especially in patients with systemic symptoms.