Characterisation of biofilm associated with bacterial vaginosis

    Project Details


    The normal vaginal flora is dominated by lactobacilli. Lactobacillus species act as a defence mechanism in response to infection and protect the vaginal microbiome by competing with other potentially pathogenic microorganisms for adherence to epithelial cells, thus preventing their growth and biofilm formation. In this context, it is well established that bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with the presence of specific anaerobic bacteria, in particular G. vaginalis (Gv) and A. vaginae (Av). However, recent studies have demonstrated that the simple presence of Gv is not a specific marker for the diagnosis of BV whereas a polymicrobial biofilm with Gv as predominant component would be more specific. These biofilms develop when microorganisms adhere to surfaces and produce extracellular polymers that facilitate adhesion. Formation of a biofilm is a virulence mechanism that allows bacteria to reach much higher concentrations than would be possible in planktonic growth. The biofilm associated microorganisms are more resistant to antimicrobial treatment compared to the planktonic living organisms because antimicrobials can hardly permeate through the extracellular polymers formed by the microbial biofilm and do not reach the biofilm associated microorganisms. Current diagnostic tools for BV (microscopy, culturing, PCR) do not allow for the detection and characterisation of this biofilm.
    Effective start/end date13/02/1414/10/16

    IWETO expertise domain

    • B780-tropical-medicine