JERUSALEM, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have found a method to treat recurrent severe bacterial vaginosis (BV) with germ transplant, the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) reported Tuesday.
BV is prevalent in women at reproductive age, affecting one-fourth to one-third of women worldwide. Often, the infection is accompanied by white or gray fluid discharge, vaginal discoloration, pain, itching and burning sensations, as well as bad odor.
The presence of BV also increases the risk of developing additional sexually transmitted diseases and premature birth. BV is usually treated with antibiotics, but in cases of recurrent infections, the treatment option is limited.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, the WIS researchers tested the use of vaginal microbiome transplantation (VMT) in five patients aged 27-47, suffering from symptomatic, intractable and recurrent BV, who did not respond to antibiotic therapy.
The researchers transplanted bacteria from healthy donors' vagina fluid and found that four of them had full long-term remission of the infection until the end of follow-up at 5-21 months after VMT.
These women showed enrichment of their vaginal microbiome with lactobacillus bacteria, which is associated with healthy vaginal microbiome in a previous study.
The fifth patient presented with incomplete remission in clinical and laboratory features. However, no adverse effects were observed in any of the five women.
"We hope the new treatment will be a step closer to providing an affordable solution for millions of women around the world", the researchers concluded.