Vaginal defenslns as less-invasive markers for sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

Harold C. Wiesenfeld, R. Phillip Heine, Alexander Panyuiich, Marijane Krohn, Richard L Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Less-invasive STD testing strategies using inexpensive diagnostic tests are urgently needed. We evaluated the levels of defensins, neutrophil granule products, from the distal vagina as markers for the presence of STD's. STUDY DESIGN: Three hundred patients ttendina an STD clinic were enrolled. All patients were tested for /V. qonorrhoeae (GO, C. trachonuiiis (CO, and T. vaginalis (TV) by PCR and/or culture. Swabs from the distal vaaina were collected, and defensins levels were measured by an EL IS A assay. RESULTS: Overall. tOl women were intectcd \\iih an STD. Thiny tour women were inferred with GC.. 31 with CT. and 61 with TV. Median vaginal defensins levels arc presented in the graph. Levels associated with each organism were significantly greater than those in uninfected women i.p<0,001). CONCLUSION: Defensins are elevated in the distal vasina in women infected with GC. CT. or TV. The use of vaginal defensins as sensitive markers for the presence of STD's may be a less-invasive strategy for STD testing. Expensive diagnostic tests may then be restricted to those women at greatest likelihood of having an STD, as determined by elevated vaginal defensins levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50
Number of pages1
JournalInfectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dermatology


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