Bacterial vaginosis (BV) results from a shift in the microbial ecosystem of the vagina from Lactobacillus predominance to overgrowth by anaerobic and facultative species, and has been associated with postpartum/postabortal endometritis, preterm birth, pelvic inflammatory disease, and human immunodeficiency virus acquisition. The etiology of BV is unclear, as is the role of sexual transmission of an undefined precipitant. BV frequently recurs in women who initially respond to standard antibiotic therapy. More effective interventions to prevent and treat BV require an understanding of the role of sexual transmission. Relative to most heterosexual women, lesbians have a two to three-fold higher BV prevalence (25 percent-52 percent). Preliminary evidence strongly implicates sexual transmission of vaginal secretions between women as a risk for BV. The proposed work will define the temporal association between sexual practices that transfer vaginal secretions and BV acquisition, and design an intervention to prevent this transfer and test its efficacy in reducing BV recurrence.
Specific aims are: (1) prospectively define risk factors associated with acquisition of BV in a cohort of lesbians, including sexual practices that transfer vaginal secretions, sex with men, lubricant use, douching, menses, and changes in vaginal lactobacilli. The hypothesis is that BV in lesbians occurs after sexual transmission of vaginal fluid from a woman with BV to a woman without BV; that women not colonized with vaginal hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli will be at highest risk for BV acquisition by this mechanism; and that comparative analyses of vaginal flora in sex partners will show similar microbial profiles. (2) Test the efficacy of an intervention to reduce transfer of vaginal fluid between female sex partners in reducing recurrence of BV following treatment with metronidazole in a prospective, randomized trial. The hypothesis is that the intervention will improve knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and intention about BV prevention, reduce sexual exposures that increase risk of transfer of vaginal fluid, and reduce rates of BV recurrence. Lesbian couples provide a unique opportunity to conduct comparative studies of vaginal microbial ecology in sex partners, and to directly analyze determinants of transmission.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01AI052228-01
Application #
6521814
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-EDC-3 (01))
Program Officer
Savarese, Barbara M
Project Start
2002-09-15
Project End
2007-08-31
Budget Start
2002-09-15
Budget End
2003-08-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2002
Total Cost
$363,690
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Washington
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
135646524
City
Seattle
State
WA
Country
United States
Zip Code
98195
Gorgos, Linda M; Sycuro, Laura K; Srinivasan, Sujatha et al. (2015) Relationship of Specific Bacteria in the Cervical and Vaginal Microbiotas With Cervicitis. Sex Transm Dis 42:475-481
Mitchell, Caroline; Manhart, Lisa E; Thomas, Kathy et al. (2012) Behavioral predictors of colonization with Lactobacillus crispatus or Lactobacillus jensenii after treatment for bacterial vaginosis: a cohort study. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol 2012:706540
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Fiedler, Tina L; Srinivasan, Sujatha et al. (2012) Extravaginal reservoirs of vaginal bacteria as risk factors for incident bacterial vaginosis. J Infect Dis 205:1580-8
Marrazzo, Jeanne M (2011) Interpreting the epidemiology and natural history of bacterial vaginosis: are we still confused? Anaerobe 17:186-90
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Thomas, Katherine K; Ringwood, Kathleen (2011) A behavioural intervention to reduce persistence of bacterial vaginosis among women who report sex with women: results of a randomised trial. Sex Transm Infect 87:399-405
Mitchell, Caroline; Manhart, Lisa E; Thomas, Katherine K et al. (2011) Effect of sexual activity on vaginal colonization with hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli and Gardnerella vaginalis. Sex Transm Dis 38:1137-44
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Thomas, Katherine K; Fiedler, Tina L et al. (2010) Risks for acquisition of bacterial vaginosis among women who report sex with women: a cohort study. PLoS One 5:e11139
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Thomas, Katherine K; Agnew, Kathy et al. (2010) Prevalence and risks for bacterial vaginosis in women who have sex with women. Sex Transm Dis 37:335-9
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Martin, David H; Watts, D Heather et al. (2010) Bacterial vaginosis: identifying research gaps proceedings of a workshop sponsored by DHHS/NIH/NIAID. Sex Transm Dis 37:732-44
Marrazzo, Jeanne M; Antonio, May; Agnew, Kathy et al. (2009) Distribution of genital Lactobacillus strains shared by female sex partners. J Infect Dis 199:680-3

Showing the most recent 10 out of 17 publications