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Learning objectives

  • Identify the most common bacterial pathogens that can cause infections of the reproductive system
  • Compare the major characteristics of specific bacterial diseases affecting the reproductive system

In addition to infections of the urinary tract, bacteria commonly infect the reproductive tract. As with the urinary tract, parts of the reproductive system closest to the external environment are the most likely sites of infection. Often, the same microbes are capable of causing urinary tract and reproductive tract infections.

Bacterial vaginitis and vaginosis

Inflammation of the vagina is called vaginitis , often caused by a bacterial infection. It is also possible to have an imbalance in the normal vaginal microbiota without inflammation called bacterial vaginosis (BV) . Vaginosis may be asymptomatic or may cause mild symptoms such as a thin, white-to-yellow, homogeneous vaginal discharge, burning, odor, and itching. The major causative agent is Gardnerella vaginalis , a gram-variable to gram-negative pleomorphic bacterium. Other causative agents include anaerobic species such as members of the genera Bacteroides and Fusobacterium . Additionally, ureaplasma and mycoplasma may be involved. The disease is usually self-limiting, although antibiotic treatment is recommended if symptoms develop.

G. vaginalis appears to be more virulent than other vaginal bacterial species potentially associated with BV. Like Lactobacillus spp., G. vaginalis is part of the normal vaginal microbiota, but when the population of Lactobacillus spp. decreases and the vaginal pH increases, G. vaginalis flourishes, causing vaginosis by attaching to vaginal epithelial cells and forming a thick protective biofilm . G. vaginalis also produces a cytotoxin called vaginolysin that lyses vaginal epithelial cells and red blood cells.

Since G. vaginalis can also be isolated from healthy women, the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of BV is direct examination of vaginal secretions and not the culture of G. vaginalis . Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis from vaginal secretions can be accurately made in three ways. The first is to use a DNA probe . The second method is to assay for sialidase activity (sialidase is an enzyme produced by G. vaginalis and other bacteria associated with vaginosis, including Bacteroides spp., Prevotella spp., and Mobiluncus spp.). The third method is to assess gram-stained vaginal smears for microscopic morphology and relative numbers and types of bacteria, squamous epithelial cells, and leukocytes. By examining slides prepared from vaginal swabs , it is possible to distinguish lactobacilli (long, gram-positive rods) from other gram-negative species responsible for BV. A shift in predominance from gram-positive bacilli to gram-negative coccobacilli can indicate BV. Additionally, the slide may contain so-called clue cells , which are epithelial cells that appear to have a granular or stippled appearance due to bacterial cells attached to their surface ( [link] ). Presumptive diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis can involve an assessment of clinical symptoms and evaluation of vaginal fluids using Amsel’s diagnostic criteria which include 3 out of 4 of the following characteristics:

Questions & Answers

a solvent isopropyl myristate is use for the pre-treatment of?
Nasir Reply
what is microbiology
Ayeniyi Reply
microbiology is the study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible to the naked eyes, examples bacteria and fungi etc
Iheme
study of microorganism such as becteria etc
Muhammad
study of microorganisms and their effect on organisms life
Aqsa
characteristic of Gram negative bacteria
jane Reply
Characteristics of Gram Negative Bacteria As with Gram positive bacteria, Gram negative bacteria also contain the peptidoglycan polymer in their cell wall. While this polymer is thin (2 to 4 nanometers in thickness with just about 3 layers of peptidoglycan) in Gram negative bacteria, it's also com
Kaviya
it's also composed of long glycan strands that are cross-linked by peptide molecules. This composition serves a number of functions including protecting the bacterial cell from lysis
Kaviya
Good shot
Enoch
Thanks 😊
Kaviya
what was Hans Christian Gram's supported in the modern Microbiology?
Wilson Reply
what is microbial growth
Chisa Reply
The organism responsible for vulva ulcers
nyiter Reply
Why are vascular pathogen poorly communicable from person to person?
Aj Reply
Most vascular pathogens are poorly communicable from person to person because they need a medium to be communicated i,e a vector that would carry them from one person to other
Kaviya
what's the habit of protista
Afieahngwi Reply
They show both autotrophic and heterotrophic mechanisms...
Swetha
thanks
Afieahngwi
welcome...
Swetha
let me mention some water. Air .Food and so on
Gattiek Reply
causes of infectious diseases
Afieahngwi Reply
water.Air
Gattiek
infectious disease are caused by pathogenic micro organisms like bacteria ,fungi..
Swetha
What is pasteurization?
Wilson
are fungi prokaryote or eukaryotes?
Afieahngwi Reply
fungi are eukaryotes.
Swetha
All fungi are eukaryotes. Even micro fungi.
Lad
have..complex cellular organization and membrane bound nucleus ...and..also... having loops of DNA( like plasmids) as.bacteria
Swetha
what enzyme replaces rna nucleotides with dna nucleotides during replication?
Remi Reply
an enzyme called DNA ligase.
Jael
describe the acid fast staining procedure used in the diagnosis of tuberculosis
Salma Reply
bacterial morphology
lf_ Reply
what is the difference between biogenesis & abiogenesis
Mayuri Reply
biogenesis is when living comes out from other living things as a result of reproduction while a biogenesis is the process where living things comes out from non living things
Usman
living things come form other form living things is biogenesis. ....right?
Mayuri

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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