VaginalStatus: Diagnosis of vaginosis and determination of a healthy vaginal flora
In bacterial vaginosis the balance of the vaginal flora is disturbed: the dominating lactobacilli are diminished, instead a mixture of bacteria such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae and other dominate.
This may cause various symptoms such as
- Burning and
- "Fishy" smell.
One of the first indications of a disturbed vaginal flora is an increased pH value. However, pathogens such as Gardnerella vaginalis may also be present in numerous cell counts at normal pH values (<4.5).
The current diagnosis of vaginosis uses microscopy which is not reliable and has a major weakness: Atopobium vaginae - a marker organism of bacterial vaginosis - cannot be distinguished from lactobacilli using microscopy. If Atopobium vaginae remains undetected, mistreatments are possible because Atopobium vaginae is resistant to the standard antibiotic for bacterial vaginosis metronidazole. Consequently, recurrences are frequent following antibiotic treatment.
The insensibility of Atopobium vaginae towards antibiotics is due to the biofilm the bacteria are producing.
The Institute for Microecology has developed an effective diagnostic for vaginosis - the VaginalStatus. The VaginalStatus differentiates between a bacterial, yeast or Trichomonas vaginalis- vaginitis and detects marker organisms of a healthy vaginal flora. VaginalStatus Diagnostics for vaginosis determines the following:
- Number of lactobacilli; Including H2O2 producers
- Number of β-B streptococci
- Number of anaerobes
- Specific evidence of Trichomonas vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae
- Specific evidence of Gardnerella vaginalis
- Specific detection of yeasts (Candida spp.)
The VaginalStatus allows an effective therapy. It can indicate an initial imbalance and can thus destroy the vicious cycle of recurrent infections. Concerning pregnancy, the VaginalStatus is a strong tool for the prevention of possible infections and miscarriages.
In addition to vaginosis, changes in the vaginal flora can also cause inflammation of the urogenital tract and the pelvis. In pregnant women, a vaginosis may cause a premature birth. Recent publications suggest that a modified vaginal flora can facilitate an infection from sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
The Vaginal Flora
The composition of the vaginal flora is simple in contrast to the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract. In a healthy woman, aerobic, microaerophilic or facultative anaerobic microorganisms predominate in the vaginal region. Strictly anaerobic microorganisms are in the minority. Lactobacilli are the most frequently detected microorganisms in the vaginal region - but only from adolescence. The oestrogen induces epithelial cells to secrete increasingly glycogen, which is consumed by the lactobacilli.