Finding a balance in the vaginal microbiome: How do we treat and prevent the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis?

Rebecca Jane Joseph, Hooi Leng Ser, Yi He Kuai, Loh Teng Hern Tan, Valliammai Jayanthi Thirunavuk Arasoo, Vengadesh Letchumanan, Lijing Wang, Priyia Pusparajah, Bey Hing Goh, Nurul Syakima Ab Mutalib, Kok Gan Chan, Learn Han Lee

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) has been reported in one-third of women worldwide at different life stages, due to the complex balance in the ecology of the vaginal microbiota. It is a common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge and is associated with other health issues. Since the first description of anaerobic microbes associated with BV like Gardnerella vaginalis in the 1950s, researchers have stepped up the game by incorporating advanced molecular tools to monitor and evaluate the extent of dysbiosis within the vaginal microbiome, particularly on how specific microbial population changes compared to a healthy state. Moreover, treatment failure and BV recurrence rate remain high despite the standard antibiotic treatment. Consequently, researchers have been probing into alternative or adjunct treatments, including probiotics or even vaginal microbiota transplants, to ensure successful treatment outcomes and reduce the colonization by pathogenic microbes of the female reproductive tract. The current review summarizes the latest findings in probiotics use for BV and explores the potential of vaginal microbiota transplants in restoring vaginal health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number719
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Gardnerella
  • Lactobacillus
  • Microbiome
  • Probiotics
  • VMT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology


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