JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Bacteriocin susceptibility of Gardnerella vaginalis and its relationship to biotype, genotype, and metronidazole susceptibility.

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to investigate the bacteriocin susceptibility of Gardnerella vaginalis and its relationship to biotype, genotype, and resistance to metronidazole.

STUDY DESIGN: Bacteriocin susceptibility of 36 G vaginalis clinical isolates was tested against a vaginal strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus by a growth-inhibition method. The relationship to biotype, genotype, and resistance to metronidazole were analyzed by the chi2 test and Fisher exact test.

RESULTS: Eight G vaginalis strains (22%) were bacteriocin-resistant. Biotypes 5 and 7 were found to be the most frequent among these resistant strains. Eight (42%) of the 19 isolates classified as biotype 5, 6, or 7 were bacteriocin-resistant compared with none of the isolates that were classified as other biotypes (P <.01). Biotype 5 was found in higher prevalence among the isolates resistant to bacteriocin (62%) than among the susceptible isolates (14%) (P =.01). Genotype B was found more frequently among the bacteriocin-resistant strains, but this finding was not statistically significant (P =.71). Seven (88%) bacteriocin-resistant strains were also resistant to metronidazole.

CONCLUSION: An association between biotype and an increased resistance to bacteriocin was found. The ability of G vaginalis to resist the antibacterial activity of Lactobacillus bacteriocin may be a pivotal factor in understanding bacterial vaginosis.

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