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Medicine (MD/DO)
Other Bacteria
Gardnerella vaginalis

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Gardnerella vaginalis

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Gardnerella vaginalis

Gardener-rella with Vagina-violets
Gardnerella vaginalis is a pleomorphic bacteria which is the principle organism responsible for the common complaints of bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of vaginal infection in child bearing woman caused by an overgrowth of bacteria within the vaginal canal which results in greyish discharge and fishy odor. The diagnosis is made using KOH prep where a foul smell can be appreciated as a positive whiff test. Additionally under microscopic examination, characteristic epithelial cells covered in bacteria called clue cells, indicates a positive diagnosis. Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease that can be passed to sexual partners but is often associated with sexual activity. Bacterial vaginosis is treated with metronidazole for symptomatic improvement.
Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacteria-guy in Vagina-violet

An infection caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis in the vaginal canal, leading to discharge and abnormal odor.

Not an STD
STD Free Chastity-belt

Bacterial vaginosis is not an STD. It is associated with sexual intercourse, but is not sexually transmitted between partners.

Fishy Smell

Odor of bacterial vaginosis is commonly described as a fishy smell.

Whiff Test

Positive whiff test indicates a diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. As stated in the name, a positive test is indicated by strong fishy odor when several drops of potassium hydroxide solution are added to a sample of vaginal discharge.

Grey Vaginal Discharge
Grey Discharge from Vagina-violet

Bacterial vaginosis causes a classic grayish discharge color, which is distinct from other gynecologic infections.

Increase pH
Up-arrow pH-scale

The bacterial vaginosis infection causes a characteristic increase in pH of the vagina.

Clue Cells
Clue Cell with Question-marks

Clue cells are squamous epithelial cells covered in bacteria. Clue cells can be seen during a microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge and are a characteristic finding for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.

Squamous Epithelial Cells Covered with Bacteria
Square-mouse with Bacteria-guy

Clue cells are squamous epithelial cells covered in bacteria. Clue cells can be seen during a microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge and are a characteristic finding for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.

Mobiluncus Coinfection
Moby Coinfection

Mobiluncus is an anaerobic organism that is often associated with Gardnerella vaginalis. Mobiluncus may play a role in the overgrowth of Gardnerella vaginalis in the vaginal canal.


The treatment for bacterial vaginosis is metronidazole antibiotic which alters oxidative patterns within the bacteria which results in death.


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