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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Bifidobacteriales
Family: Bifidobacteriaceae
Genus: Gardnerella
Species: G. vaginalis
Binomial name
Gardnerella vaginalis
(Gardner and Dukes 1955) Greenwood and Pickett 1980

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Gardnerella is a genus of gram-variable bacteria of which Gardnerella vaginalis is the only species. Gardnerella vaginalis can cause bacterial vaginosis in some women.


Laboratory Findings


Once classified as a species of Haemophilus, G. vaginalis grows as small, circular, convex, gray colonies on chocolate agar; it will also grow on HBT agar. A selective medium for G. vaginalis is colistin-oxolinic acid blood agar.

While typically isolated in genital cultures, it may also be detected from other sources, such as blood, urine and pharynx. Although a chief cause of bacterial vaginosis, it may be isolated from women without any signs or symptoms of infection.


Under the microscope it appears as a gram-negative rod, although it has been reported to have a gram-positive cell wall. It is associated microscopically with clue cells, which are epithelial cells covered in bacteria.

Shown below is an image of clue cells

Clue cells (Gardnerella Vaginalis)


Infections with G. vaginalis go along with proteolysis, giving nitrous products such as cadaverines and putrescines, which can cause a bad smell and loss of water.


Medical Therapy

One method of treatment is metronidazole.


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