Is there an association between bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Mycoplasma hominis infection? Yes.
A group of 130 women were studied, with 28 with BV, 22 with intermediate flora, and 80 non-BV women.
Prevalence of Gardnerella vaginalis and Mycoplasma species were evaluated using qPCR testing. Species include Ureaplasma parvum, Mycoplasma hominis, U. urealyticum and M. genitalium.
- G. vaginalis – 104 (78 per cent)
- U. parvum – 83 (64 per cent)
- M. hominis – 34 (26 per cent)
- U. urealyticum – 26 (20 per cent)
- M. genitalium – 6 (5 per cent)
M. hominis had a significantly higher prevalence across all three groups of women and had a significant trend that increased from non-BV (11 per cent incidence) to intermediate flora (36 per cent) to confirmed BV cases (61 per cent). There was no other statistically significant association with other bacteria.
Co-infections with G. vaginalis
- M. hominis co-infection with G. vaginalis was significantly associated with BV
- U. parvum and G. vaginalis co-infections were higher in women with BV (79 per cent) compared to non-BV (46 per cent)
- There were no significant associations across G. vaginalis, U. urealyticum and M. genitalium
Bacterial load in the three groups of women
- G. vaginalis loads significantly increased upwards from non-BV to confirmed BV results.
- M. hominis loads significantly increased between the three groups of women from non-BV up to confirmed BV
- U. urealyticum, U. parvum and M. genitalium loads did not show significant differences between the three groups of women
- M. hominis and G. vaginalis in dual infections showed a significant positive correlation
- Other bacteria showed no correlation with G. vaginalis
The researchers note that there appears to be a synergistic growth tigger between G. vaginalis and M. hominis.
Take-homes? Get PCR tested if you have BV.
Cox, C., Watt, A.P., McKenna, J.P. et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2016) 35: 481.