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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Feb;17(1):51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Microbiota of the upper and lower genital tract.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

Our understanding of the bacterial species inhabiting the female genital tract has been limited primarily by our ability to detect them. Early investigations using microscopy and culture-based techniques identified lactobacilli as the predominant members of the vaginal microbiota and suggested that these organisms might serve a protective function at the mucosal surface. Improvements in cultivation techniques and the development of molecular-based detection strategies validated these early findings and enabled us to recognize that the microbiota of the female genital tract is much more complex than previously suspected. Disruption of the vaginal microbial community due to invasion of exogenous organisms or by overgrowth of one or more endogenous species has important health implications for both the mother and newborn.

PMID:
21920833
PMCID:
PMC3242913
DOI:
10.1016/j.siny.2011.08.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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