Vaginal Flora and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

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Forty-one patients with acute pelvic inflammatory disease were evaluated for the coexistence of bacterial vaginosis. Because all patients had a copious purulent vaginal discharge, microscopic criteria could not be used and microbiologic criteria were employed. The vaginal bacterial flora were not consistent with that of bacterial vaginosis, because Lactobacillus and other gram-positive bacteria dominated with colony counts of 103 to 105 cfu/ml (colony-forming units per milliliter). Endocervical specimens yielded Neisseria gonorrhoeae from 20 patients and Chlamydia trachomatis from 11 patients. Anaerobes were not dominant in any site sampled. A total of 147 bacteria were isolated from the endometrium, 16 (11%) of which were anaerobes. Thus the endogenous bacterial flora were not consistent with that of the microbiologic definition of bacterial vaginosis. N. gonorrhoeae was the most common isolate from the endocervix and endometrium; it was isolated three times more frequently from the endocervix and two times more frequently from the endometrium than was C. trachomatis. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1993;169:470-4.)

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