Finegoldia magna in BV

Finegoldia magna is an anaerobic gram-positive bacteria (formerly Peptostreptococcus magnus) that can be associated with and contribute to bacterial vaginosis, amongst other human infections.​1​

F. magna can be found harmlessly in the digestive, urinary and genital tract of humans but also on the skin and in the mouth. F. magna is an opportunistic pathogen, implicated in a range of infections, including vulvovaginal and urinary tract infections.​2​

About Finegoldia magna

F. magna is a major anaerobic commensal (native) bacteria in humans, often regarded as a contaminant in blood cultures.

F. magna may frequently be overlooked as an opportunistic pathogen, since the ‘commensal’ labels mean it is not usually considered dangerous, despite the fact that it may be in certain areas of the body and in some people.

F. magna can be involved in polymicrobial vaginosis, though is not thought to be the bacteria to cause an imbalance in the vagina initially. The idea is that it needs friends to cause a problem.​3​

F. magna usually appear in groups, with the growth rate in the lab quite slow. F. magna requires an oxygen-free environment to survive, though some cells in contact with air have survived more than 48 hours.​4​

These bacteria produce acetic acid (vinegar) and ammonia, which may account for odours produced when this bacteria colonises the vagina in any meaningful way.

F. magna produces a protein that helps the bacteria adhere to cells and each other. This protein blocks the activity of a human antibacterial peptide, with the protein playing a large role in F. magna’s ability to colonise and survive in a human host.

F. magna produce collagenase and gelatinase, enzymes that break down collagen and gelatin respectively. Another protein produced by F. magna, protein L, enhances colonisation of the vagina and is thought to contribute to bacterial vaginosis.​5​

References

  1. 1.
    Rosenthal ME, Rojtman AD, Frank E. Finegoldia magna (formerly Peptostreptococcus magnus): An overlooked etiology for toxic shock syndrome? Medical Hypotheses. Published online August 2012:138-140. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.04.013
  2. 2.
    Fok CS, Gao X, Lin H, et al. Urinary symptoms are associated with certain urinary microbes in urogynecologic surgical patients. Int Urogynecol J. Published online August 16, 2018:1765-1771. doi:10.1007/s00192-018-3732-1
  3. 3.
    Joseph RJ, Ser HL, Kuai YH, et al. Finding a Balance in the Vaginal Microbiome: How Do We Treat and Prevent the Occurrence of Bacterial Vaginosis? Antibiotics. Published online June 15, 2021:719. doi:10.3390/antibiotics10060719
  4. 4.
    Murphy EC, Frick IM. Gram-positive anaerobic cocci – commensals and opportunistic pathogens. FEMS Microbiol Rev. Published online July 2013:520-553. doi:10.1111/1574-6976.12005
  5. 5.
    Neumann A, Björck L, Frick IM. Finegoldia magna, an Anaerobic Gram-Positive Bacterium of the Normal Human Microbiota, Induces Inflammation by Activating Neutrophils. Front Microbiol. Published online January 29, 2020. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.00065


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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
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