The International Infections in Pregnancy (IIP) study: Variations in the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and distribution of morphotypes in vaginal smears among pregnant women

Jorge Tolosa, Surasith Chaithongwongwatthana, Sean Daly, Win Win Maw, Hernando Gaitán, Pisake Lumbiganon, Mario Festin, Tsungai Chipato, Josephine Sauvarin, Robert L. Goldenberg, William W. Andrews, Cynthia G. Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and the distribution of associated morphotypes among asymptomatic pregnant women in different countries. Study design: In 8 institutions participating in the Global Network for Perinatal and Reproductive Health ( from July 1999 to September 2001, 1466 women were enrolled. Vaginal smears were Gram stained and scored with Nugent's method at a reference laboratory. The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and bacterial morphotype distributions were compared. Results: Overall, 12.3% of women had bacterial vaginosis according to Nugent's criteria. Zimbabwe had the highest prevalence (24.4%) when compared with all other sites, except Myanmar (P <.05). Among bacterial vaginosis cases, 98.9% of vaginal smears had more than 30 Gardnerella/Bacteroides morphotypes present per oil immersion field. Individual centers showed significant differences in the number of Mobiluncus and lactobacillus morphotypes (P <.01). Conclusion: The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and distribution of bacterial morphotypes in vaginal smears among asymptomatic pregnant women vary significantly in populations from different countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1204
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • International
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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