One in three women in North America will suffer from bacterial vaginosis at least once in their lifetime

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THRIVE is a Winnipeg based cohort which is recruiting women diagnosed with and without Bacterial vaginosis (BV) which aims to determine factors contributing to BV recurrence. This study is led by University of Manitoba Investigators, in partnership with the JC Wilt infectious Disease Research Centre, including Dr. Adam Burgener, Dr. Alicia Berard, and Dr. Vanessa Poliquin, a reproductive infectious diseases clinician. 

The hope is that this study will help to determine how the microbiome affects host immunity, to understand why and how much it changes, with the goal of helping to design better interventions.  This project is partially funded through a CIHR Team Grant award to Burgener, Poliquin, and Berard to study the role of the microbiome in vaginal health.  Participant recruitment is actively ongoing. 

For more information regarding this study if you are interested in participating, including contact information, can be found at

The vaginal microbiome has been implicated as a major contributor to women’s health. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal condition for women of reproductive age, where the vaginal microbiota is “non-optimal.”

The consequences of BV on women’s health are considerable, including increased risk of pre-term birth, acquisition of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, increased risk of cervical cancer, and other complications. 

BV is experienced in 23-29% of women globally, and causes detrimental effects on a woman’s quality of life physically, emotionally, sexually, and socially. Clinical symptoms include increased vaginal discharge, vaginal discomfort/itchiness, pain during urination or sex, and a strong fish-like odor.

Treatment of BV is rudimentary and is limited to antibiotic options, including metronidazole or clindamycin.  However, even with treatment up to 50% of women experience BV recurrence within a year.  Therefore, the development of better treatment options could be of significant benefit for women’s health.

Story submitted by Dr. Adam Burgener, Dr. Alicia Berard and Dr. Vanessa Poliquin.

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