Antibiotic susceptibility of Atopobium vaginae

BMC Infect Dis. 2006 Mar 16;6:51. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-6-51.


Background: Previous studies have indicated that a recently described anaerobic bacterium, Atopobium vaginae is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV). Thus far the four isolates of this fastidious micro-organism were found to be highly resistant to metronidazole and susceptible for clindamycin, two antibiotics preferred for the treatment of BV.

Methods: Nine strains of Atopobium vaginae, four strains of Gardnerella vaginalis, two strains of Lactobacillus iners and one strain each of Bifidobacterium breve, B. longum, L. crispatus, L. gasseri and L. jensenii were tested against 15 antimicrobial agents using the Etest.

Results: All nine strains of A. vaginae were highly resistant to nalidixic acid and colistin while being inhibited by low concentrations of clindamycin (range: < 0.016 microg/ml), rifampicin (< 0.002 microg/ml), azithromycin (< 0.016-0.32 microg/ml), penicillin (0.008-0.25 microg/ml), ampicillin (< 0.016-0.94 microg/ml), ciprofloxacin (0.023-0.25 microg/ml) and linezolid (0.016-0.125 microg/ml). We found a variable susceptibility for metronidazole, ranging from 2 to more than 256 microg/ml. The four G. vaginalis strains were also susceptible for clindamycin (< 0.016-0.047 microg/ml) and three strains were susceptible to less than 1 microg/ml of metronidazole. All lactobacilli were resistant to metronidazole (> 256 microg/ml) but susceptible to clindamycin (0.023-0.125 microg/ml).

Conclusion: Clindamycin has higher activity against G. vaginalis and A. vaginae than metronidazole, but not all A. vaginae isolates are metronidazole resistant, as seemed to be a straightforward conclusion from previous studies on a more limited number of strains.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / drug effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bifidobacterium / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Gardnerella vaginalis / drug effects
  • Lactobacillus / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents