JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Use of DNA hybridization to detect vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis among asymptomatic pregnant women.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether microbial DNA hybridization is a useful method to study bacterial vaginosis in asymptomatic pregnant women.

STUDY DESIGN: Vaginal specimens were collected at <26 weeks' gestation from 230 women, and analyzed for bacterial vaginosis by both Gram stain using Nugent criteria and DNA hybridization for Gardnerella vaginalis, Prevotella bivia, Bacteroides ureolyticus, and Mobiluncus curtisii. Results were analyzed using McNemar's paired test and chi-square test for trend, with significance set at P < .05.

RESULTS: By Gram stain, 60 (26.1%) of 230 were positive for bacterial vaginosis, and 134 (58.3%) were negative. By DNA hybridization, 99 (43%) were positive for at least 1 pathogen, and DNA results were significantly associated with Gram-stain results (P < .01). As the Nugent score progressed from normal to abnormal flora, the proportion with >1 pathogen detected by DNA hybridization increased significantly (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: DNA hybridization may be a useful method to study shifts in vaginal flora during pregnancy.

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