Test Catalog

Test Id : GSBV

Gram Stain for Bacterial Vaginosis, Varies

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Supporting the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Conventional Gram Stain Procedure and Nugent Scoring System

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Gram Stain for Bacterial Vaginosis

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing


Specimen Type: Vaginal swab

Collection Container/Tube: Culture transport swab (Dacron or rayon swab with aluminum or plastic shaft with either Stuart or Amies liquid medium: T092) or ESwab

Specimen Volume: Entire collection

Specimen Stability Information:

ESwab: Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days/Ambient 7 days

Culture Transport Swab: Ambient (preferred) 24 hours/Refrigerated 24 hours



Specimen Type: Prepared microscope slide

Source: Vaginal swab

Collection Container/Tube: Culturette swab (Dacron or rayon swab with aluminum or plastic shaft with either Stuart or Amies liquid medium: T092) or ESwab

Submission Container/Tube: Slide container

Specimen Volume: Slide

Collection Instructions: Apply original sample to surface of standard microscope slide using appropriate application method (determined by consistency of specimen type) to assure adequate transfer of specimen onto slide. Allow specimen to dry and then heat-fix the slide. Place in slide container for transport.


Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Other Dry swab

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Varies (preferred)

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Supporting the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Bacterial vaginosis is so-named because bacteria are the cause and an associated inflammatory response is lacking. It results in an increase in thin, gray, homogeneous vaginal discharge and vaginal malodor and is caused by a change in the vaginal flora. Bacterial vaginosis is a synergistic polymicrobial infection not caused by a specific organism. The standard scoring system termed the "Nugent score" is a technique for assessing bacterial vaginosis using microscopic examination of a Gram-stained smear of vaginal discharge.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

One of the 3 following reports dependent on the weighted sum balance of Lactobacillus, Gardnerella/Bacteroides, and Mobiluncus species:

1. Consistent with normal bacterial vaginal flora.

2. Altered vaginal flora not consistent with bacterial vaginosis. This frequently represents a transitional stage. If signs or symptoms persist, repeat testing is warranted.

3. Consistent with bacterial vaginosis.

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Assessment of a Gram-stained slide using the Nugent score has replaced culture as the preferred test to diagnose bacterial vaginosis.(1) While Gardnerella is the most common anaerobe found in bacterial vaginosis, other anaerobic organisms are often present along with a decrease in the amount of "usual flora" (eg, Lactobacillus species).


This system uses a 0- to 4-point scale to calculate the weighted sum of the following 3 bacterial morphotypes: Lactobacillus, Gardnerella/Bacteroides, and Mobiluncus species. A total score of greater than 6 is considered abnormal, a total score of 4 to 6 is considered a transitional stage, and a total score of 0 to 3 is considered normal. Clue cells and yeast are also reported, if present.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This scored Gram stain for diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis should be used only for women in childbearing years or postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

CAP Microbiology checklist: Bacterial Vaginosis-Evaluation of a criterion-based Gram stain is used for the microscopic diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. 2011

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

A Gram stain with scoring of the microbial morphotypes, the Nugent scoring system, is used to evaluate the vaginal flora from the Gram-stained slide. This system uses a 0- to 4-point scale to calculate the weighted sum of the following 3 bacterial morphotypes: Lactobacillus, Gardnerella/Bacteroides, and Mobiluncus species.(Chan WW: Gram stain procedure-Reporting Gram-stained vaginal smears to diagnose bacterial vaginosis and vaginitis. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. Fourth edition. Edited by AL Leber. ASM Press, Washington DC, 2016 Section 3.2.1-3)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Sunday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

Same day/1 day

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

Gram Stained slides are retained for 7 days

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their Regional Manager. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports