Prevalence and correlates of bacterial vaginosis among young women of reproductive age in Mysore, India

Indian J Med Microbiol. Apr-Jun 2008;26(2):132-7. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.40526.


Purpose: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge among women of childbearing age and is associated with STI/HIV and adverse birth outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of BV among young women of reproductive age in Mysore, India.

Methods: Between October 2005 and December 2006, 898 sexually active women of 15-30 years of age were enrolled from two reproductive health clinics in Mysore. The women underwent an interview followed by physical examination, HSV-2 serologic testing, endocervical culture for Neisseria gonorrhoeae , and vaginal swabs for diagnosis of BV, Trichomonas vaginalis infection and candidiasis. Statistical analyses included conventional descriptive statistics and multivariable analysis using logistic regression.

Results: Of the 898 women, 391 (43.5%) were diagnosed with >or=1 endogenous reproductive tract infection and 157 (17.4%) with >or=1 sexually transmitted infection. Only 863 women had Gram-stained vaginal smears available, out of which 165 (19.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 16.3%-22.2%) were found to have BV and 133 (15.4, 95% CI: 12.9%-18.3%) were in the 'intermediate' stage. BV was related to concurrent infections with T. vaginalis (odds ratio [OR]=4.07, 95% CI: 2.45-6.72) and HSV-2 seropositivity (OR=2.22, 95% CI: 1.39-3.53).

Conclusions: In this population, the prevalence of BV at 19% was relatively low. Coinfection with T. vaginalis , however, was common. BV was independently associated with concurrent T. vaginalis infection and partner's alcohol use. Muslim women had reduced odds of BV as compared to non-Muslim women. Further research is needed to understand the role of T. vaginalis infection in the pathogenesis of BV and the sociocultural context surrounding the condition in India.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / complications
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Trichomonas Infections / complications
  • Trichomonas Infections / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification
  • Vagina / microbiology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / epidemiology*


  • Antibodies, Viral