Bartholin’s gland

Bartholin’s glands are small mucus-producing glands located on each side of the vaginal opening close to the base of the labia minora.

Bartholinitis may be caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), or organisms normally present in the vagina resulting in a polymicrobial infection.


Direct Examination

Gram stain Gram stain procedure


Media Incubation
Blood Agar (BA) CO2, 35°C x 48 hours
Chocolate Agar (CHOC) CO2, 35°C x 48 hours
Vancomycin-Colistin-Nystatin Agar (VCN) CO2, 35°C x 72 hours
MacConkey Agar (MAC) O2, 35°C x 48 hours


  • Examine the plates after 24 and 48 hours incubation. VCN at 24, 48 and 72 hours.
  • All potential pathogens should be identified.

Gram Stain

Report with quantitation the presence of pus cells and organisms.


Negative Report
“No significant growth” or “No growth” and “No Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated”. If VCN plate is overgrown by swarming Proteus or yeast, report ONLY as “Unable to rule out Neisseria gonorrhoeae due to bacterial/yeast overgrowth.”

Positive Report
Quantitate and report all other significant isolates with appropriate susceptibility results.

“Neisseria gonorrhoeae” isolated (do not quantitate), beta lactamase non-producing or beta-lactamase producing strain. Insert comment “Report has been copied to Medical Officer of Health”.

Telephone all positive GC cultures to floor/ordering Physician.

For all positive GC cultures, a Communicable Disease Report is sent to the Medical Officer of Health and is recorded in the significant isolates log book.

References Isenberg, Henry D. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Vol. 1, 199l: p. 1.11.1- 1.ll.7.

Cumitech 17A, 1993. Laboratory Diagnosis of Female Genital Tract Infections, ASM Press.

LPTP Survey B-9412, Feb. 21, 1995. Microbiology Handling of Female Genital Specimens. A pattern of Practice Survey.