Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common inflammatory condition caused by a change in the bacteria naturally found in the vagina. BV can lead to pain and discomfort, and more significantly, can increase the risk for infection from HIV and HPV.
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center led by Robert Burk, M.D., have developed a new molecular test that can quickly diagnose BV from simple Pap smear samples in thousands of individuals at once. As reported in a study published online on January 11 in Nature Communications, the new test, known as molBV, proved as accurate as the current gold standard method, known as the Nugent score, which can be conducted only on one sample at a time and requires complex microscopy. The Einstein researchers used molBV to quantify the immune response associated with BV inflammation. They found that heightened inflammation significantly reduces the body’s ability to clear high-risk HPV infections that can lead to cervical cancer.
Dr. Burk is professor of pediatrics, of microbiology & immunology, of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health, and of epidemiology & population health at Einstein, and an attending physician at Montefiore.
Posted on: Thursday, January 13, 2022