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Cervical-Vaginal Physiology and Microbiology |

Vaginal Microbial Flora: Composition and Influences of Host Physiology

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: In part by Johnson & Johnson Products, Inc. , New Brunswick, New Jersey.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Bryan Larsen, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Marshall University School of Medicine; Huntington WV 25701.

Huntington, West Virginia; and Iowa City, Iowa

© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(6_Part_2):926-930. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-6-926
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The normal bacterial flora of the female genital tract is composed of various aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Because the normal flora may be a source of disease-causing organisms or may interact antagonistically or synergistically with exogenous pathogens, it is important to characterize physiologic determinants of the genital microflora. Mechanisms of cervical-vaginal colonization are not well understood although it appears that differences in estrogen levels are able to influence primarily the anaerobic species. The genital tract after surgery, parturition, or during menstruation is a microenvironment conducive to proliferation of various bacteria.


physiology ; vagina





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