Carbon Source and Biofilm Formation: Implications for Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment Strategies / Women’s Reproductive Health in the Military

George, Christina, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Papin, Jason, MD-BIOM Biomedical Eng, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Women’s reproductive health needs have been under-researched, especially those of women in the military. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in reproductive-age women, yet many aspects of this condition are still not understood. BV is caused by the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the vagina. Gardnerella, the dominant genus in BV, forms a biofilm, but its composition is largely unknown. This project investigated the compostition of the Gardnerella biofilm and determined how carbon sources can modulate biofilm synthesis. Understanding more about Gardnerella biofilm will promote improved BV treatment options and has the potential to decrease the current high rate of recurring infection. Although women make up 17.2 percent of US military personnel, military healthcare services tend to neglect servicewomen’s distinct physiology and health needs. The resulting injustices include preventable gynecological health risks, higher rates of infections, and consequent psychological and financial burdens.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
bacterial vaginosis (BV), women's reproductive health, gynecological health, vaginal microbiome, military, servicewomen
Sponsoring Agency:
UVA Global Infectious Disease Institute
Issued Date: