Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal symptoms among women. According to NHANES, data collected between 2001–2004, 29.2% of women ages 14–49 in the United States have BV. 84% of these women with are asymptomatic (Koumans, 2007). Women with BV have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and delivery, and postpartum infections.
Diagnosis via vaginal swab (wet mount), whiff test, vaginal pH, oligonucleotide probe of DNA of bacteria present are standard. Bacterial vaginosis usually causes the vaginal pH to rise above 4.5 due to the microbial species present. Diagnosis of BV is difficult because of its complex polymicrobial nature indicative of dysbiosis.
BV has high relapse rates and associated complications. BV diagnosis includes a decrease in vaginal lactobacilli species and increase in the anaerobes population of microbes, including, most commonly Gardnerella vaginosis or A.vaginae (Shipitsyn,2013). Vaginal bacterial communities differ dramatically between healthy patients and patients with BV, with G. vaginalis present in over 90% of BV cases (Verstraelen & Swidsinski, 2013). G. vaginalis is up to 70% of asymptomatic healthy women. When G. vaginalis biofilms form they can establish synergistic relationships with other pathogenic anaerobes.