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Probiotics administered intravaginally as a complementary therapy combined with antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review protocol
  1. Liyan Ma1,
  2. Jianrong Su1,
  3. Yanli Su2,
  4. Wei Sun1,
  5. Zhaoying Zeng1
  1. 1Clinical Laboratory Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  2. 2Department of Infection and Critical Care Medicine, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jianrong Su; sujianrong6{at}


Introduction Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a highly prevalent vaginal polymicrobial disorder commonly encountered in women of childbearing age. Therapy with only recommended antibiotics results in low cure rates and unacceptably high recurrence rates. The use of probiotics as a complementary approach for use with antibiotics for the treatment of BV remains unclear. This review aims to assess the efficacy of lactobacilli administered intravaginally in conjunction with antibiotics for the treatment of BV.

Methods and analysis The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews, Medline/PubMed and Embase will be used to search for articles from database inception to November 2016. Randomised controlled clinical trials using lactobacilli administered intravaginally in conjunction with antibiotics to treat BV will be included. Primary outcome will be the BV cure rate. The recurrence rate will be examined as secondary outcome. Two reviewers will independently select trials and extract data from the original publications. The risk of bias will be assessed according to the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We will perform data synthesis using the Review Manager (RevMan) software V.5.2.3. To assess heterogeneity, we will compute the I2 statistic.

Ethics and dissemination This study will be a review of published data and it is not necessary to obtain ethical approval. Findings of this systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews 2014: CRD42014015079.

  • genitourinary medicine
  • microbiology
  • bacteriology
  • urogynaecology

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  • Contributors JS is the guarantor. LM and JS contributed to the conception of this review. LM drafted the manuscript of the protocol and JS revised it. LM and JS developed the search strategies and WS and ZZ will implement them. LM, YS, WS and ZZ will screen the potential studies, extract the data and assess quality. In case of disagreement between the data extractors, JS will advise on the methodology and will work as the arbitrator. LM will complete the data synthesis. All authors have approved the final version for publication.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 30972819). The funders had no role in the protocol design, data collection and analysis plan, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. This fund covers the expenses including the use of the databases, printing of the papers and communication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; peer reviewed for ethical and funding approval prior to submission.