Antibiotic susceptibility of Atopobium vaginae

Ellen De Backer, Rita Verhelst, Hans Verstraelen, Geert Claeys, Gerda Verschraegen, Marleen Temmerman, Mario Vaneechoutte

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83 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies have indicated that a recently described anaerobic bacterium, Atopobium vaginae is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV). Thus far the four isolates of this fastidious micro-organism were found to be highly resistant to metronidazole and susceptible for clindamycin, two antibiotics preferred for the treatment of BV. Methods: Nine strains of Atopobium vaginae, four strains of Gard nerella vaginalis, two strains of Lactobacillus iners and one strain each of Bifidobacterium breve, B. longum, L. crispatus, L. gasseri and L. jensenii were tested against 15 antimicrobial agents using the Etest. Results: All nine strains of A. vaginae were highly resistant to nalidixic acid and colistin while being inhibited by low concentrations of clindamycin (range: < 0.016 μg/ml), rifampicin (< 0.002 μg/ml), azithromycin (< 0.016 - 0.32 μg/ml), penicillin (0.008 - 0.25 μg/ml), ampicillin (< 0.016 - 0.94 μg/ml), ciprofloxacin (0.023 - 0.25 μg/ml) and linezolid (0.016 - 0.125 μg/ml). We found a variable susceptibility for metronidazole, ranging from 2 to more than 256 μg/ml. The four G. vaginalis strains were also susceptible for clindamycin (< 0.016 - 0.047 μg/ml) and three strains were susceptible to less than 1 μg/ml of metronidazole. All lactobacilli were resistant to metronidazole (> 256 μg/ml) but susceptible to clindamycin (0.023 - 0.125 μg/ml). Conclusi on: Clindamycin has higher activity against G. vaginalis and A. vaginae than metronidazole, but not all A. vaginae isolates are metronidazole resistant, as seemed to be a straightforward conclusion from previous studies on a more limited number of strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


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