Strong correspondence in bacterial loads between the vagina and rectum of pregnant women

Nabil Abdullah El Aila, Inge Tency, Bart Saerens, Ellen De Backer, Piet Cools, Guido Lopes dos Santos Santiago, Hans Verstraelen, Rita Verhelst, Marleen Temmerman, Mario Vaneechoutte

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33 Citations (Scopus)


We sampled the vagina and rectum in 71 pregnant women and bacterial loads of Lactobacillus crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, L. iners, Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae were determined by culture and quantitative PCR (qPCR).Culture and qPCR results differed substantially with regard to the evaluation of vaginal and rectal occurrence of the six species tested. The vaginal-rectal prevalence of L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, L. iners, G. vaginalis and A. vaginae as established by culture vs. PCR was 32.3 vs. 91.5%, 32.3 vs. 77.4%, 28.1 vs. 91.5%, 12.6 vs. 68.5%, 12.6 vs. 74.6% and 5.6 vs. 69.0%, respectively. Using qPCR, a significant positive correlation was found between vaginal and rectal loads of L. crispatus (p < 0.0001), L. jensenii (p < 0.0001), L. gasseri (p = 0.005), L. iners (p = 0.003) and A. vaginae (p = 0.002).In summary, significant correlations between quantities of vaginal and rectal lactobacilli and of Atopobium vaginae were established by means of qPCR, indicating strong correspondence of vaginal and rectal microflora, not only in the occurrence of certain species in both niches, but also of cell densities per bacterial species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Atopobium vaginae
  • Gardnerella vaginalis
  • Lactobacilli
  • Pregnant women
  • QPCR


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