[Balanitis and infectious agents. A prospective study of 100 cases]

Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1995;122(9):580-4.
[Article in French]


Introduction: The aim of this study was: 1) to evaluate the rate of micro-organism isolation in 100 patients consulting for balanitis at the Centre of sexually transmitted diseases at the St. Louis Hospital in Paris in comparison with that of micro-organisms isolated in 60 men without balanitis; 2) to search for a possible correlation between the clinical aspect of the disease and the nature of the infectious agent identified.

Methods: One hundred consecutive patients were included in the study. All underwent a clinical examination and samples were taken for bacteriology, mycology and virology examinations. Sixty healthy volunteers served as controls. Two samples were taken from the balanopreputial groove in search for fungi and bacteria.

Results: Candida albicans (CA) was isolated in 33 p. 100 of the patients. A pathogenic bacteria (beta-haemolytic streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella), or a potentially pathogenic germ (Haemophilus parainfluenzae, anaerobic bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis, Streptococcus milleri, group HB5) was found without CA in 28 p. 100 of the cases, a commensal flora (enterobacteria, group D streptococci) was found without CA in 8 p. 100 and in 31 p. 100 of the cases non causal agent could be identified.

Discussion: This series confirms the non-pathogenic nature of commensal bacteria: the number of isolations was similar in the subjects with and without balanitis (p < 0.9). The role played by the other bacteria in the development of balanitis is discussed: saprophytic association or direct pathogenesis? The significant difference in the rate of bacteria isolations in patients with balanitis compared with controls (p < 0.001) is in favour of a pathogenic role. The clinical presentation was not predictive of the presence of any particular micro-organism excepting the presence of pustules which were highly suggestive of candidiasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Balanitis / microbiology*
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification