Vitali B, Pugliese C, et al. Dynamics of Vaginal Bacterial Communities in Women Developing Bacterial Vaginosis, Candidiasis, or No Infection, Analyzed by PCR-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis and Real-Time PCR. Applied and Enviro Microbio, 2007; 73(18):5731-5741.
The microbial flora of the vagina plays a major role in preventing genital infections, including bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis (CA). An integrated approach based on PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and real-time PCR was used to study the structure and dynamics of bacterial communities in vaginal fluids of healthy women and patients developing BV and CA.
Universal eubacterial primers and Lactobacillus genus-specific primers, both targeted at 16S rRNA genes, were used in DGGE and real-time PCR analysis, respectively. The DGGE profiles revealed that the vaginal flora was dominated by Lactobacillus species under healthy conditions, whereas several potentially pathogenic bacteria were present in the flora of women with BV.
Lactobacilli were the predominant bacterial population in the vagina for patients affected by CA, but changes in the composition of Lactobacillus species were observed. Real-time PCR analysis allowed the quantitative estimation of variations in lactobacilli associated with BV and CA diseases.
A statistically significant decrease in the relative abundance of lactobacilli was found in vaginal fluids of patients with BV compared to the relative abundance of lactobacilli in the vaginal fluids of healthy women and patients with CA.