Pathogenesis of Bacterial Vaginosis: Discussion of Current Hypotheses

J Infect Dis. 2016 Aug 15;214 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S1-5. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw121.


In April 2015, the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases hosted an experts technical consultation on bacterial vaginosis (BV), where data regarding controversies over the pathogenesis of BV were discussed. The discussion on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of BV is presented here, and several hypotheses on its pathogenesis are critiqued. Rigorous hypothesis-driven studies are needed to ultimately determine the cause of BV. This information is vital for the prevention and control of this important infection and its adverse public health consequences.

Keywords: Gardnerella; bacterial vaginosis; vaginal flora.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Female
  • Gardnerella vaginalis / pathogenicity*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Public Health
  • Vagina / microbiology
  • Vagina / pathology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology