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This study was carried out to examine the bacteria that cause vaginal infection in female students. Vaginal infection with bacterial vaginosis, candiasis and trichomoniasis are a global health problem for women. Other specific objectives are to determine the bacterial load, to ascertain the associated bacterial isolates and to determine the frequency of occurrence of the bacterial isolates and to determine the susceptibility pattern of the isolates to some antibiotics. This study was conducted using selected 20 female students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State aged 16 to 29 years. Vaginal swabs were obtained twice weekly. The bacterial isolates from the samples were examined for appearance based on shape, elevation, edge and pigmentation. The higher number of bacterial growth observed in this study suggested an infection process by organism Ecoli and S. aureus. The most effective chemotherapeutic agents observed against Ecoli in this study were ciprofloxacin which had (17s) and tarivid (17s) which is 100%, for S. aureus ciprofloxacin and tarivid had 11s which was 100% also, the least activity in Ecoli was penicillin, colistin, gentamycin. The result obtained from this study have revealed a high vaginal infection among female students of Michael Okpara University, therefore the study recommended that the use of condoms or total abstinence should be encouraged among the female undergraduates and the females should always clean from forward to backward after using the toilet so as not to transfer the microorganism from the bowel to the vagina.


Cover page

Title Page                                                                                                                              i

Certification                                                                                                                         ii

Declaration                                                                                                                           iii

Dedication                                                                                                                            iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                              v

Table of Contents                                                                                                                 vi

List of Tables                                                                                                                        viii

List of Figures                                                                                                                      ix

Abstract                                                                                                                                x


1.1 Background of the Study

1.2 Statement of the Problem

1.3 Aim and Objectives

1.4 Scope of Study

1.5 Significance of Study

1.6 Limitations of the Study

1.7 Key Definition of Terms


2.1 Vaginal Infection

2.1.1 Pathophysiology

2.1.2 Etiology

2.1.3 Epidemiology

2.1.4 Prognosis

2.2 Causes of Vaginal Infection

2.3 Prevention of Vaginal Infection

2.4 Symptoms of Vaginal Infection

2.5 Diagnosis of Vaginal Infection

2.6 Empirical Review


3.1 Materials Used

3.2 Methods

3.2.1 Population of the Study

3.2.2 Sample Collection

3.2.3 Microbiological Analysis

3.2.4 Identification of Bacterial Isolates Gram Reaction Catalase Test Coagulase Test Urease Test Oxidase Test Indole Test Citrate Utilization Motility Test


4.1 Results


5.1 Discussion

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendations





Table                                 Title                                                                                             Page

 1.1                               Bacterial Count (Cfu/ml) on chocolate agar                                        26

1.2                                Bacterial Count (Cfu/ml) on macconkey                                             27

 2                                  Microbiology Identification of Isolates from Samples Cultured         28

 3                                 Sensitivity test on the Isolate                                                                30



Figure                               Title                                                                                              Page


 1                                        Frequency of occurrence of the isolate from the samples            29





1.1 Background of the Study

Vaginal infections with bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis and trichomoniasis are a global health problem for women (Go et al., 2006). Vaginitis is the inflammation and infection of vagina commonly encountered in clinical medicine (Hacer et al., 2012). Diverse spectrums of pathogenic agents were observed in the vaginal micro flora. Of these, bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis and trichomoniasis are responsible for majority of vaginal infections in women of reproductive age (Spinillo et al., 1997). Abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, burning sensation, irritation and discomfort are frequent complaints among patients attending obstetrics and gynecology clinics. However, a number of vaginal infections present with few or no symptoms.

Candida vaginitis (CV) is one of the most frequent infections in women of reproductive age. Approximately 75 % of adult women will have at least one episode of vaginitis by candida during their life time (Adeyba et al., 2003). Unfortunately, about 40 – 50 % of women who had a first episode is likely to present a recurrence and 5 % may present a form of “recurring” characterized by at least three or more episodes of infection per year.

Trichomonal vaginitis (TV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (Prospero, 2014). It is caused by a parasitic protozoan T. vaginalis. Globally, TV affects approximately 57–180 million people, with the majority living in developing countries. However, in most cases TV is asymptomatic. In women, TV affects more frequently between 20 and 40 years old and is quite rare before puberty and postmenopausal age.

The symptoms of TV are mainly characterized by vaginal discharge with gray or greenish-yellow fluid rather frothy, foul-smelling, intense itching, edema cervix redness, the sensation of itching, dyspareunia and postcoital bleeding, pelvic pain and urinary symptoms.

Gonococcal infections are the second most common prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infections causing substantial morbidity worldwide each year. Gonorrhoea is a potent amplifier of the spread of sexually transmitted human immuno deficiency virus (HIV). Various studies across the world have shown that women with BV are more likely to be co-infected with, T. vaginalis, N.gonorrhoeae and HIV (Lamichhane, 2014). Aerobic vaginitis has been identified for a smaller proportion of women whose microbiota (lactobacilli) is dominated by facultative anaerobic or aerobic bacteria especially S. aureus, group B streptococci, E.coli and Klebsiella spp.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge among women of reproductive age. The prevalence of BV is about 30 % in women of reproductive age (Prospero, 2014). BV is characterized by raised vaginal pH and milky discharge in which normal vaginal flora (Lactobacilli) is replaced by a mixed flora of aerobic, anaerobic and microaerophilic species. Anaerobic organisms like Gardnerella vaginalis, Prevotella spp., Mycoplasma hominis, Mobiluncus spp. colonize vagina predominantly in BV.

The prevalence of vaginal infections, particularly BV, is high in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, 20% to 50% of women of reproductive age are affected in Zimbabwe (van De Wijgert et al., 2000). It is characterized by a disorder of the vaginal ecosystem characterized by a change in the vaginal flora from the normally predominant lactobacillus to one dominated by sialidase enzyme- producing organisms.

The vagina is a complicated environment containing a number of microbial species in variable quantities and relative proportions (Mumtaz, et al., 2008). A complex and intricate balance of microorganisms maintains the normal vaginal flora and changes with a multitude of events in the patient‟s life (Cook, et al., 2001). The dominant microbial species is Lactobacillus, which maintains the generally acidic vaginal pH (Khan and Khan, 2004).

The presence in the vagina of other bacteria such as Gardnerella vaginalis, group B streptococci and Esherichia coli termed commensal bacteria (Laren and Monif, 2001) is not synonymous with infection (Cook, et al., 2001). According to Hammill (1989), the incidence of E. coli in the vagina of normal, pre-menopausal, non- pregnant, asymptomatic women is about 21%. However, vaginal E. coli may also cause symptomatic infections such as vaginitis or tubo-ovarian abscess and is associated with life-threatening neonatal sepsis (Percival-Smith, 1983).

According to Larsen and Monif (2001), G. vaginalis was isolated from the vaginal samples obtained from 150 of 446 women who visited a student health center and who were free of clinically overt disease. During the past several decades, the many published survey of vaginal flora specimens obtained from asymptomatic women have clearly shown that Candida albicans may be present without the typical symptoms of yeast vaginitis (Glover and Larsen, 1998). Bacteria that are normal constituents of the vaginal flora of the host have the potential to cause symptoms of disease, but they apparently require some alteration in the microenvironment to do so (Larsen and Monif, 2001).

Other microorganisms such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, listeria monocytogenes and Trichomonas vaginalis are not ordinarily part of the flora of the female genital tract, but they bring the potential for disease to the vaginal/endocervical area by virtue of their inherent biological properties, (Larsen and Monif, 2001). Although the presence of these properties do not guarantee that disease will occur.

The frequent cause of vaginal discharge is an infection or colonization with different microorganisms (Mylonas and Friese, 2007). Vaginitis, whether infectious or not, poses one of the most common problems that lead women to seek out an obstetrician or gynecologist (Adad et al., 2001; Mumtaz et al., 2008), in approximately 10 million office visit annually (Kent, 1991; Donder et al., 2002). The tradition of diagnosis of vaginitis which involves patient’s symptoms, clinical findings observed during vaginal examination, and laboratory analysis of vaginal fluid and treatment can be elusive, leading to lack of relief from the symptoms (Schaaf, et al., 1990; Bornstein et al., 2001).

Although some pathologic conditions causing vaginitis are well defined like bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomoniasis yet, 7-72% of women with vaginitis may remain undiagnosed and such forms of abnormal vaginal flora neither considered as normal, nor can be called bacterial vaginosis have been termed as „intermediate flora‟ and its management probably differ from that of bacterial vaginosis (Vigneswaran and McDonald, 1994; Mumtaz et al., 2008).

1.3 Aim and Objectives

The main aim of this study is to examine the bacteria that causes vagina infection in female students in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. Other specific objectives include:

         To determine the bacterial load

         To ascertain the associated bacterial species

         To determine the frequency of occurrence of the bacteria isolates

         To determine the susceptibility pattern of the isolates to some antibiotics.

1.4       SCOPE OF STUDY

This study is limited to the bacteriological study and examination of vaginal infection of female students in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. The study will cover selected amount of female students in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and it will specifically cover vaginal infections and how they can be examined.


This study will provide knowledge mainly on the bacteriological examination of vaginal infections. It will help to assess among others, the various causes, characteristics and effects of vaginal infections of female students of MOUAU.

This study will enlighten students on proper ways of preventing and protecting themselves from vaginal infections as well as provide treatments to the students who are already have vaginal infections.

The result from this study will be helpful to medical personnel to counsel and direct patients and students on the effects of vaginal infection and ways to avoid them.


The researcher encountered some problems as a graduating student in the course of completing this project work. The actual limitation of the study is the financial constraints as well as time constraints due to other academic pressure.


Bacteriology: This is a branch of medical science that studies bacteria in relation to disease

Examination: This is a careful search, investigation or inquiry, scrutiny by study or experiment

Infection: The state of being infected, contaminated, or the effect of prevailing disease or epidemic.

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