Microbial interactions in the vaginal ecosystem, with emphasis on the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis

Microbes Infect. 1999 Apr;1(4):285-92. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(99)80024-0.


During bacterial vaginosis (BV), populations of lactobacilli which are generally dominant in the vagina of overtly healthy women are replaced by other facultative and anaerobic microorganisms. Some Lactobacillus strains produce hydrogen peroxide and all produce lactic acid; however, the antagonistic role of these metabolites in vivo remains controversial. Positive interactions among BV-associated organisms may contribute to the pathogenesis of BV and its sequelae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Ecosystem
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology*


  • Lactic Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide