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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 12, Issue 3-4, Pages 121-126

Vaginal Flora Morphotypic Profiles and Assessment of Bacterial Vaginosis in Women at Risk for HIV Infection

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease and Public Health Prevention, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, 4770 Buford Highway MS K-34, Atlanta 30341, GA, USA
2Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA
3Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
4Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
5Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

Copyright © 2004 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.


Specific morphotypic profiles of normal and abnormal vaginal flora, including bacterial vaginosis (BV), were characterized. A prospective study of 350 women yielded concurrent Gram-stain data and clinical assessment (n = 3455 visits). Microbiological profiles were constructed by Gram stain. Eight profile definitions were based on dichotomizing the levels of Lactobacillus, Gardnerella, and curved, Gram-negative bacillus (Mobiluncus) morphotypes. Of these, two were rare, and the other six demonstrated a graded association with the clinical components of BV. The proposed profiles from the Gram stain reflect the morphotypic categories describing vaginal flora that may enable clearer elucidation of gynecologic and obstetric outcomes in various populations.