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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 7, Issue 4, Pages 206-209

Can Group B Streptococci Cause Symptomatic Vaginitis?

1Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Rotterdam 3015 GD, The Netherlands
2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Received 19 October 1998; Accepted 11 February 1999

Copyright © 1999 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.


Background: Maternal cervicovaginal colonization with Lancefield group B streptococci (GBS) is an important risk factor for neonatal morbidity and mortality. About 15% of women are carriers of GBS. Usually, they are asymptomatic.

Cases: We describe two patients with symptomatic vaginitis for which no apparent cause was found. Both patients were heavily colonizedwith GBS. After antibiotic treatment, both became asymptomatic and culture negative, but after recolonization with GBS, symptoms resumed. This phenomenon was repeatedly observed. After emergence of resistance to antibiotics, local application of chlorhexidine appeared to be the only useful treatment.

Conclusion: We hypothesize that GBS-vaginitis may be a possible disease entity. Although at present it is not clear why some patients become symptomatic, we speculate that the immunologic response is somehow selectively hampered in such patients. Infect. Dis. Obstet. Gynecol. 7:206–209, 1999.