Perinatal effects of Gardnerella vaginalis deciduitis in the rabbit

Nancy T. Field, Edward R. Newton, Kathleen Kagan-Hallet, William A. Peairs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We determined the effects of intrauterine infection with Gardnerella vaginalis on maternal and fetal outcome in the rabbit. STUDY DESIGN: Both uterine horns of rabbits on day 20 or 21 of gestation (70% of gestation) were inoculated hysteroscopically with either 0.2 ml of 105 to 107 CFU/ml of G. vaginalis or saline solution. Animals were killed on day 4 or earlier if premature delivery occurred. The following outcome parameters were evaluated: febrile morbidity, preterm labor and delivery, maternal cultures, fetal birth weight, and fetal neuropathologic findings. RESULTS: G. vaginalis intrauterine inoculation uniformly resulted in amnionitis and deciduitis. Animals inoculated with G. vaginalis had no greater incidence of fever and preterm delivery than did saline-treated control animals. However, intrauterine infection with G. vaginalis resulted in a significant decrease in the live birth rate when compared with that of controls (80% vs 95%, p<0.03). G. vaginalis deciduitis was associated with as 23% reduction in the birth weight of the surviving fetuses. Furthermore, animals in the G. vaginalis study group had a 60% incidence of severe brain injury compared with 0% in the saline solution group. CONCLUSION: G. vaginalis amnionitis and deciduitis produced minimal maternal morbidity but were associated with decreased birth weight and brain injury in surviving fetuses; thus it appears that G. vaginalis selectively functions as a fetal, but not maternal, pathogen in the rabbit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-994
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


  • Cardnerella vaginalis deciduitis
  • fetal development
  • preterm labor
  • rabbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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