Efficacy of oral metronidazole with vaginal clindamycin or vaginal probiotic for bacterial vaginosis: randomised placebo-controlled double-blind trial

Catriona Bradshaw, Marie Pirotta, Deborah De Guingand, Jane Simone Hocking, Anna Morton, Suzanne Marianne Garland, Glenda Fehler, Andrea Morrow, Sandra Walker, Lenka Vodstrcil, Christopher Kit Fairley

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Background: To determine if oral metronidazole (MTZ-400mg bid) with 2 vaginal clindamycin-cream (Clind) or a Lactobacillus acidophilus vaginal-probiotic containing oestriol (Prob) reduces 6-month bacterial vaginosis (BV) recurrence. Methods: Double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group single-site study with balanced randomization (1:1:1) conducted at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia. Participants with symptomatic BV [Nugent Score (NS) = 7?10 or 3 Amsel?s criteria and NS = 4?10], were randomly allocated to MTZ-Clind, MTZ-Prob or MTZ-Placebo and assessed at 1,2,3 and 6 months. MTZ and Clind were administered for 7 days and Prob and Placebo for 12 days. Primary outcome was BV recurrence (NS of 7?10) on self-collected vaginal-swabs over 6-months. Cumulative BV recurrence rates were compared between groups by Chi-squared statistics. Kaplan-Meier, log rank and Cox regression analyses were used to compare time until and risk of BV recurrence between groups. Results: 450 18?50 year old females were randomized and 408 (91 ), equally distributed between groups, provided 1 NS post-randomization and were included in analyses; 42 (9 ) participants with no post-randomization data were excluded. Six-month retention rates were 78 (n = 351). One-month BV recurrence (NS 7?10) rates were 3.6 (5/140), 6.8 (9/133) and 9.6 (13/135) in the MTZ-Clind, MTZ-Prob and MTZ-Placebo groups respectively, p = 0.13. Hazard ratios (HR) for BV recurrence at one-month, adjusted for adherence to vaginal therapy, were 0.43 (95 CI 0.15?1.22) and 0.75 (95 CI 0.32? 1.76) in the MTZ-Clind and MTZ-Prob groups compared to MTZ-Plac respectively. Cumulative 6-month BV recurrence was 28.2 ; (95 CI 24.0?32.7 ) with no difference between groups, p = 0.82; HRs for 6-month BV recurrence for MTZ-Clind and MTZ-Prob compared to MTZ-Plac, adjusted for adherence to vaginal therapy were 1.09(95 CI = 0.70?1.70) and 1.03(95 CI = 0.65?1.63), respectively. No serious adverse events occurred. Conclusion: Combining the recommended first line therapies of oral metronidazole and vaginal clindamycin, or oral metronidazole with an extended-course of a commercially available vaginal-L.acidophilus probiotic, does not reduce BV recurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere34540
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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