Background & objectives: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) involves the presence of a thick vaginal multispecies biofilm, where Gardnerella vaginalis is the predominant species. The reason for an increase in the number of G. vaginalis which are usually present as normal flora of the female genital tract in cases of BV, is not known. Hence, the objective of the present study was to compare the biotypes and virulence factors of G. vaginalis isolated from the genital tract of women with and without BV. Methods: High vaginal swabs collected from 811 women of reproductive age were cultured. G. vaginalis isolates were biotyped and tested for adherence to vaginal epithelial cells, biofilm formation, agglutination of human red blood cells (RBCs), protease production, phospholipase production and surface hydrophobicity. Results: Of the isolates from women with BV, 83.3 per cent (60/72) showed good adherence, 78.4 per cent (58/74) produced biofilm, 82.9 per cent (63/76) produced phospholipase, 67.1 per cent (51/76) produced protease, 77.3 per cent (58/75) were positive for surface hydrophobicity and 61.6 per cent (45/73) were positive for haemagglutination of human RBC. In case of G. vaginalis from non-BV women, 25 per cent (15/60) isolates showed good adherence, 18.4 per cent (9/49) biofilm production, 35 per cent (21/60) phospholipase, 36.6 per cent (22/60) protease, 41.7 per cent (25/60) surface hydrophobicity and 10.1 per cent (6/59) agglutination of human RBCs. Maximum number of isolates belonged to biotypes 6, 2 and 3. Biotype 3 was more associated with non-BV rather than BV; biotype 6, 2 and 1 were more associated with cases of BV. Maximum virulence factors were expressed by biotypes 6, 2 and 1. Interpretation & conclusions: Virulence factors were more expressed by G. vaginalis isolates obtained from women with BV rather than from non-BV. Biotypes 6, 2 and 1 were more associated with cases of BV and expressed maximum virulence factors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)