Morphology: A small gram-negative rod (coccobacillus).
Habitat: This bacterium is found in the vagina of one-third of all human females. The vagina provides a good habitat for this bacterium and it is usually controlled by the other microbes in the vagina.
Disease or illness: Gardnerella can cause bacterial vaginosa, an infection of the vagina in a woman. This infection is most often caused by a disruption of the normal balance of microbes in the vagina after antibiotic therapy. This infection causes symptoms like frothy gray or greenish-yellow vaginal drainage with a “fishy” odor, pain or itching in the vaginal area or burning with urination.
Who is at risk: Women, especially, those who have received antibiotics, have multiple sex partners, or have an IUD (intra-uterine device) for contraception; Gardnerella can cause a bloodstream infection in a mother after the delivery of a baby and possibly in the baby, too.
Avoidance techniques: Women should maintain a balanced and healthy vaginal microbiome with probiotics, especially after antibiotic therapy with probiotics; avoid douching.