Could bacterial vaginosis be due to the competitive suppression of lactobacilli by aerobic microorganisms?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is characterized by lack of lactobacilli and predominance of anaerobic species. Ciprofloxacin is active against a great number of aerobic bacteria. The effect of ciprofloxacin on the vaginal microbial flora was studied both in healthy subjects and in patients with BV in order to test if BV may be due to competitive suppression of lactobacilli by aerobic species. About half of the patients were relieved of their symptoms. No adverse effects on the microbial profile or colonization by lactobacilli were produced by the drug. Lactobacilli known to be able to produce hydrogen peroxide were found to be significantly more common in healthy women than in women with BV. The species most frequently related to vaginal health were Lactobacillus jensenii and Lactobacillus rogosae.