Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of vaginal inflammation that occurs when there is an imbalance or depletion of the normal vaginal flora, allowing for other pathogens to begin to grow.
The normal vaginal flora is dynamic and usually inhabited by lactobacilli, which keep it acidic and maintain a protected environment for the human host.
Women in their reproductive years are most likely to get Bacterial Vaginosis, but it can affect women of any age. BV may increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections and cause serious pregnancy complications, including miscarriage and pre-term birth.
Traditional therapy for symptomatic BV has been metronidazole. However, recent studies have shown that recurrent bacterial vaginosis after antimicrobial therapy is a major problem, affecting >50% of patients within one year. Providers are currently in need of a diagnostic tool to not only quickly identify pathogens that cause BV, but also monitor therapy success.