Nine genera of microbes isolated from the lower genital tract of 187 women in labour in Zaria have been identified. The work was undertaken to establish the nature of microorganisms in the lower genital tract of women in labour as a basis for further study. The isolates in order of prevalence were: Candida albicans (20.9%), Klebsiella sp (15.0%), Escherichia coli (9.1%), Streptococcus faecalis (6.4%), haemolytic streptococci (other than Streptococcus pyogenes (2.7%), Streptococcus viridans (2.1%), Staphylococcus aureus (2.1%), Aeromonas hydrophila (2.1%), Proteus mirabilis (1.1%), Peptostreptococcus putridus (1.1%), Streptococcus pyogenes (0.5%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (0.5%). Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Haemophilus sp, Lactobacillus sp, and Clostridium sp were sought but not found. Chlamydia, viruses, and T-strains of mycoplasma and trichomonas were not sought. It appears from this study that the lower genital tract of most women in Zaria at the time of labour is heavily colonised by pathogens. For this reason alone prolonged labour and trauma to the genital tract at the time of delivery should be avoided.
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