Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects women of reproductive age with most women being asymptomatic.
“Women with BV experience vaginal malodor, discharge, itching and increased vaginal pH,” said Ms. Makella S. Coudray, doctoral candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work along with her mentor Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, associate professor at the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. “BV also increases the risk of contracting and transmitting sexually transmitted infections including HIV.”
Though treatment options with antibiotics such as metronidazole or clindamycin exist, these methods have proven not to be effective long term.
In a summary recently published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, the researchers examined the current literature on the epidemiology of BV and highlighted areas of deficiency in current clinical practice with respect to BV.
“BV recurrence rates are high, approximately 80 percent just three months after effective treatment,” continued Coudray, “Furthermore, in some instances treatment is ineffective and BV persists.”
BV is associated with high levels of anaerobic organisms, which can damage the vaginal epithelium and increase the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the most common sexually transmitted infection among young adult women. Recent research also highlights the role of the vaginal microbiome in BV.
“The results of this review warrant further exploration into the etiopathogenesis of BV as well as long-term effective treatment and the investigation of prognostic indicators,” Ms. Coudray concluded.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 14