Parvimonas micra in bacterial vaginosis

Parvimonas micra is a gram-positive anaerobic bacteria normally found in the mouth, being part of dental plaque. P. micra is also found in the gut and may be found in vaginal flora.

There isn’t much information on this bacteria relating to vaginal infections or bacterial vaginosis, but P. micra is associated with biofilms of other bacteria, so can play a role in an infection or imbalance.

Because P. micra can’t make its own biofilms, it may contribute to vaginal problems, but probably isn’t the instigator.

Where P. micra infections are found

Infections have been found containing P. micra throughout the body, including in joints and heart tissue. This bacteria may cause abscesses, respiratory tract infections, sinus infections, and other serious, even life-threatening infections.

P. micra as an infection mediator

Interestingly, P. micra is being investigated as a potential mediator of infection. P. micra was found to cause changes in other bacteria from their pathogenic form to a less pathogenic form when close by.

How P. micra is tested for

Parvimonas micra can be cultured, with incubation periods of about 48 hours. P. micra is an obligate anaerobe, which means it cannot tolerate oxygen in its environment.

Parvimonas micra and biofilms

P. micra is associated with biofilms in the mouth, found in the top layer of biofilm colonies of other bacteria, but cannot form its own biofilms, so lives in those made by other bacteria.

P. micra has pathogenic potential, and may cause or contribute to periodontitis.

History of P. micra

P. micra was originally classified as Peptostreptococcus micros in 1933. In 1999 this bacteria was reclassified as Micromonas micros, then reclassified again in 2006 to Parvimonas micra.

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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)