Gardnerella vaginalis is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common cause of vaginal discharge. Metronidazole is a front-line therapy for BV, and treatment failure and recurrent disease are common problems. Whole-genome sequencing studies have revealed that G. vaginalis has a population structure that consists of 4 clades: clades 1 and 3 are associated with BV, whereas clades 2 and 4 are not. To determine if metronidazole susceptibility is associated with population structure, we analyzed 87 clinical isolates and found that metronidazole resistance (MIC ≥32 μg/mL) was highly associated with clade (P<0.0001), as 14/14 clade 3 isolates (100%) and 22/22 clade 4 isolates (100%) exhibited resistance, compared to only 16/37 clade 1 isolates (35%) and 1/14 clade 2 isolates (7.1%). The identification of intrinsically metronidazole-resistant G. vaginalis clades will facilitate future studies on the relationship between metronidazole resistance and BV treatment failure.
Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; Gardnerella vaginalis; Metronidazole.
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