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Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):43-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361822. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Microbiota and pelvic inflammatory disease.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mt Sinai School of Medicine Jamaica Program, Queens Hospital Center, Queens, New York.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Female genital tract microbiota play a crucial role in maintaining health. Disequilibrium of the microbiota has been associated with increased risk of pelvic infections. In recent years, culture-independent molecular techniques have expanded understanding of the composition of genital microbiota and the dynamic nature of the microbiota. There is evidence that upper genital tract may not be sterile and may harbor microflora in the physiologic state. The isolation of bacterial vaginosis-associated organisms in women with genital infections establishes a link between pelvic infections and abnormal vaginal flora. With the understanding of the composition of the microbiota in healthy and diseased states, the next logical step is to identify the function of the newly identified microbes. This knowledge will further expand our understanding of the causation of pelvic infections, which may lead to more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

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