What causes Bartholin gland diseases?

Updated: Aug 10, 2017
  • Author: Antonia Quinn, DO; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Uncomplicated Bartholin cysts are filled with nonpurulent mucous. Several studies have aimed to identify the most common bacterial pathogens responsible for Bartholin abscess formation. Studies from the 1970-1980s named Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis as common pathogens . More recent studies report the predominance of opportunistic bacteria such as Staphylococcus species, Streptococcus species, and, most commonly, Escherichia coli. [7]

In a retrospective study by Kessous et al, a substantial percentage of patients with Bartholin gland abscess were culture-positive, with E coli being the single most common pathogen (43.7%), and 10 cases (7.9%) were polymicrobial. Culture-positive cases were significantly associated with fever, leukocytosis, and neutrophilia. Infection with E coli was significantly more common in recurrent infection than in primary infections (56.8% compared with 37%). [11]

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