203340 Prevalence of Candida albicans, Gardnerella vaginalis, and Trichomonas vaginalis in women presenting with symptoms of vaginitis using molecular detection methods

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Angela R. Bell, MS, MT(ASCP)SM , School of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Bacterial vaginitis (BV) is the most frequently occurring vaginal infection in women and one of the leading causes of preterm birth. Because BV may be caused by a combination of multiple bacteria, diagnosis and treatment are not simple. A nucleic acid hybridization-based test—the BD Affirm™ VPIII Microbial Identification Test – provides enhanced detection sensitivity and specificity, and may help reduce the risk of preterm births.


A total of 117 clinical specimens submitted for vaginal DNA screening were tested. The BD Affirm™, which uses two single-stranded nucleic probes for each organism and detects and identifies Candida species, Gardnerella vaginalis, and Trichomonas vaginalis in vaginal fluid, was performed according to manufacturer's instructions.


Of the 117 specimens tested, 16 (13.68%) tested positive for Candida albicans, 8 (6.84% tested positive for Trichomonas vaginalis, 74 (63.25%) tested positive for Gardnerella vaginalis with 15 (12.82%) positive for 2 or more and 1 (0.01%) positive for all three. Significant differences in prevalence were found across race/ethnic groups: African-American 69 (62.73%), Caucasian 38 (34.55%), Hispanic 2 (1.82%) and Asian 1 (0.91%). Positive rates based on age were: 14-24 (60.68%), 25-34 (21.34%), 35-44 (13.68%), 45 and above (4.30%).


Approximately 84% of patient samples tested positive for at least one agent of vaginitis. BV afflicts African-American females at a higher incidence compared to other races. Further research is needed to examine the reasons for the racial/ethnic disparities.

Learning Objectives:
Describe molecular detection method for the identification of agents of bacterial vaginitis.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a clinical laboratory scientist with experience in molecular testing and STI surveillance.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.