Objectives: To investigate if the participation of Atopobium vaginae, Megasphaera sp. and Leptotrichia sp. in the bacterial community of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with distinct patterns of this condition.
Methods: In this cross-sectional controlled study, 205 women with BV and 205 women with normal flora were included. Vaginal rinsing samples were obtained for measuring the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and bacterial sialidases. Real-time PCR was used to quantify the BV-associated bacteria and to estimate the total bacterial load using the 16S rRNA. Principal component analysis (PCA) using the measured parameters was performed to compare the BV samples with lower and higher loads of the species of interest.
Results: Higher bacterial load (p<0.001), levels of interleukin 1-β (p<0.001) and sialidase activity (p<0.001) were associated with BV. Women with BV and higher relative loads of A vaginae, Megasphaera sp. and Leptotrichia sp. presented increased sialidase activity, but unchanged cytokine levels. PCA analysis did not indicate a different pattern of BV according to the loads of A vaginae, Megasphaera sp. and Leptotrichia sp.
Conclusions: Greater participation of A vaginae, Megasphaera sp. and Leptotrichia sp. in vaginal bacterial community did not indicate a less severe form of BV; moreover, it was associated with increased sialidase activity.