Antibiotic treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy: multiple meta-analysis and dilemmas in interpretation

Rajesh Varma, Janesh Gupta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    There is considerable evidence to show an association between genital tract infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), and preterm delivery (PTD). Meta-analyses to date have shown screening and treating BV in pregnancy does not prevent PTD. This casts doubt on a cause and effect relationship between BV and PTD. However, the meta-analyses reported significant clinical, methodological and statistical heterogeneity of the included studies. We therefore under-took a repeat meta-analysis, included recently published trials, and applied strict criteria on data extraction. We meta-analysed low and high-risk pregnancies separately. We found that screening and treating BV in low-risk pregnancies produced a statistically significant reduction in spontaneous PTD (RR 0.73; 95% CI 0.55-0.98). This beneficial effect was not observed in high-risk or combined risk groups. The differences in antibiotic sensitivity between high and low risk groups may suggest differing causal contributions of the infectious process to PTD. The evidence, along with prior knowledge of differing predisposing factors and prognosis between these risk groups, supports the hypothesis that PTD in high and low risk pregnant women are different entities and not linear extremes of the same syndrome. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-14
    Number of pages5
    JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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