Link to bioRxiv paper:
Authors: Murina, F., Crisan, C., Biris, M., Sirbu, D., Barattini, D. F., Ardolino, L. I., Casolati, E.
Several risk factors have been identified but the etiology and pathogenesis of Bacterial vaginosis (BV) are still not completely understood, and the recurrence rate of BV remains high despite adequate chemotherapy treatment.
The primary objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of a new vaginal medical device, which contains polycarbophil, 0.04 % lauryl glucoside, and glycerides (Polybactum(R) - Effik Italia), in reducing BV recurrence rate.
This was a multicenter, open label, not comparative study performed in Italy and Romania. Female subjects over 18-years-old affected by recurrent BV were included. The latest episode was diagnosed by Amsel criteria 6-9 days before the start of the study and treated with vaginal metronidazole (gel 0.75% mg for 5 days or ovules 500 mg for 7 days). The recurrence was defined by at least 2 episodes in the previous 12 months. Polybactum(R) vaginal ovules, day 1-4-7, were started within the 12th and the 24th hr after the end of metronidazole therapy and repeated monthly for 3 cycles.
The first 41 patients enrolled were evaluated for an interim analysis 6 months after the study started; 2 patients interrupted the trial, leaving 39 evaluable subjects. The recurrence rate was significantly reduced compared to previous published data (10.26% vs 40% p0.001). In 35 patients without recurrence, the assessment of Lactobacillus vaginal flora performed by phase contrast microscopy evidenced a significant improvement form baseline (p=0.022) The Investigator global assessment of tolerability was excellent in 38 out of 39 cases.
IMPORTANCEBacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal disorder in women of childbearing age. In BV, Lactobacillus species, which are predominant in a healthy vaginal flora, are replaced by anaerobes, mainly Gardnerella vaginalis. BV is responsible for more than 60% of vulvovaginal infections and has been linked to serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, including: pelvic inflammatory disease, postoperative infections, acquisition and transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, preterm birth, and several adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our research showed that 3 monthly cycles of Polybactum(R) ovules administered after one course of metronidazole vaginal therapy can reduce the rate of Bacterial vaginosis recurrence and improve the vaginal milieu, favouring the growth of vaginal lactobacillus species. Taken together our results confirm that Polibactum(R) is a safe and effective treatment to reduce BV recurrence rate after a first line therapy with metronidazole.
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