A New PNA-FISH Probe Targeting Fannyhessea vaginae

Academic Article


  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age and has been associated with serious health complications, mainly in pregnant women. It is characterized by a decrease in the number of Lactobacillus species in the healthy vaginal microbiota and an overgrowth of strict and facultative anaerobic bacteria that develop a polymicrobial biofilm. Despite over 60 years of research investigating BV, its etiology is not fully understood. Gardnerella spp. is a crucial microorganism that contributes to the formation of the biofilm and the development of BV, but the role of other BV-associated bacteria is not clear. Nevertheless, Fannyhessea vaginae (previously known as Atopobium vaginae) is a highly specific species for BV, and co-colonization with Gardnerella is thought to be a very specific diagnostic marker. The diagnosis of BV still presents some limitations, since currently used methods often fail to accurately detect BV. This work aims to develop a novel peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe targeting F. vaginae. This probe was further validated in a multiplex assay, which included a Gardnerella-specific PNA probe, as a possible method for diagnosis of BV, and was compared with quantification by qPCR. The new PNA probe showed excellent sensitivity and specificity and could discriminate F. vaginae-Gardnerella biofilms, confirming the potential to be used for the detection of BV-associated pathogens.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sousa LGV; Castro J; Fran├ža A; Almeida C; Muzny CA; Cerca N
  • Volume

  • 11