1887

Abstract

SUMMARY

The cervical and high vaginal flora were studied by quantitative culture methods applied to 356 specimens from 53 healthy non-pregnant women, 102 pregnant women and 57 women with cervicitis. Specimens were obtained with a specially designed “slimesucker”. In all groups the total viable counts ranged from 10-10 bacteria per ml of fluid from the cervix and posterior fornix. There was only a slight difference between the flora of cervix and fornix.

In healthy women the means of the number of bacterial species per cervical and high vaginal specimen were 1.5 and 1.9 respectively. Lactobacilli predominated in 72% and 80% of cervical and high vaginal cultures respectively. , non-haemolytic and α-haemolytic streptococci, diph-theroids, peptostreptococci, peptococci and spp. could be isolated in high numbers, but less commonly than lactobacilli. Members of the Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts also occurred less commonly than lactobacilli, and in lower numbers (10-10 organisms per ml). It is postulated that the Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts are not part of the normal flora. In specimens from pregnant women the viable bacterial counts were comparable with those in specimens from healthy non-pregnant women. The flora was even more homogeneous during pregnancy, the means of the number of species being 1.5 and 1.7 in cervical and high vaginal cultures respectively; lactobacilli occurred in 92% of the cervical and 86% of the high vaginal samples. In women with cervicitis the means of the number of species obtained from the cervix and fornix were 2.2 and 2.5, with lactobacilli predominating in 65% and 84% respectively. spp. and peptostreptococci were more commonly encountered in women with cervicitis than in those without, but the viable counts of these organisms were similar in all women. The role of bacteria in the production of cervicitis is discussed.

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1978-08-01
2022-05-25
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