Aerobic vaginitis in pregnancy

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Aerobic vaginitis (AV) is an alteration in vaginal bacterial flora that differs from bacterial vaginosis (BV). AV is characterised by an abnormal vaginal microflora accompanied by an increased localised inflammatory reaction and immune response, as opposed to the suppressed immune response that is characteristic of BV. Given the increased local production of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6 and IL-8 associated with AV during pregnancy, not surprisingly AV is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery, chorioamnionitis and funisitis of the fetus. There is no consensus on the optimal treatment for AV in pregnant or non-pregnant women, but a broader spectrum drug such as clindamycin is preferred above metronidazole to prevent infection-related preterm birth. The exact role of AV in pregnancy, the potential benefit of screening, and the use of newer local antibiotics, disinfectants, probiotics and immune modulators need further study.

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