Streptococcus agalactiae: a vaginal pathogen?

J Med Microbiol. 1996 Mar;44(3):199-202. doi: 10.1099/00222615-44-3-199.


The significance of Streptococcus agalactiae as an aetiological agent in vaginitis was evaluated. A total of 6226 samples from women who presented with vaginal symptoms was examined. The presence of >10 leucocytes/high-power field (h.p.f.) was taken to be the criterion of active infection. S. agalactiae was isolated from 10.1% of these samples. The isolation rates of other common pathogens such as Candida spp., Gardnerella vaginalis and Trichomonas spp. were 54.1%, 27.2% and 4.2%, respectively, in the same group of patients. In contrast, the isolation rates of these micro-organisms in the group of patients who had no infection (<10 leucocytes/h.p.f.) were 4.2%, 38.3%, 33% and 0.5%, respectively. In the majority of samples from which S. agalactiae was isolated, it was the sole pathogen isolated (83%) and its presence was associated with an inflammatory response in 80% of patients. Furthermore, the relative risk of vaginal infection with S. agalactiae (2.38) in patients with purulent vaginal discharge was greater than that of Candida spp. infection (1.41) and lower than that of Trichomonas spp. infection (8.32). These data suggest that S. agalactiae in symptomatic women with microscopic evidence of inflammation should be considered a causative agent of vaginitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / pathogenicity*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology*