Susceptibility of middle adolescent females to sexually transmitted infections: Impact of hormone contraception and sexual behaviors on vaginal immunity

Academic Article


  • Problem: The resistance and/or susceptibility to infections can be influenced by patterns of immunomodulators. Based on this and the high rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescents, we examined the longitudinal relationship between sexual behaviors, hormonal contraceptive use, and bacterial vaginosis (BV) with vaginal-associated immunomodulators in adolescent females. Methods of study: Over 27 months, subjects completed detailed questionnaires, and consented to vaginal swabs for STI testing, and vaginal lavages for identification of immunomodulators including T-helper, proinflammatory, and chemokines. Concentrations of immunomodulators were correlated with each parameter together with prevalence of STIs. Results: Each parameter had a limited influence on vaginal immunomodulators with no evidence of any pattern(s) associated with infection. Conversely, the local presence of proinflammatory cytokines and neutrophils in those with an STI indicated some immune responsiveness. Conclusion: Sexual behaviors, contraceptive usage, and BV do not appear as factors in susceptibility of adolescents to STIs through the influence of local immunomodulators. © 2007 The Authors Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Barousse MM; Theall KP; Van Der Pol B; Fortenberry JD; Orr DP; Fidel PL
  • Start Page

  • 159
  • End Page

  • 168
  • Volume

  • 58
  • Issue

  • 2