Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 11;5:8988. doi: 10.1038/srep08988.

The vaginal microbiome during pregnancy and the postpartum period in a European population.

Author information

1
Imperial College Parturition Research Group, Division of the Institute of Reproduction and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, UK.
2
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK.
3
Division of Cancer, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK.
4
Department of Epidemiology &Biostatistics, Medicine, Imperial College London, UK.
5
St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.
6
Section of Biomolecular Medicine, Division of Computational Systems Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK.
7
1] Section of Biomolecular Medicine, Division of Computational Systems Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK [2] MRC NIHR National Phenome Centre, Division of Computational Systems Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK.
8
1] School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK [2] Section of Biomolecular Medicine, Division of Computational Systems Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, UK.

Abstract

The composition and structure of the pregnancy vaginal microbiome may influence susceptibility to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Studies on the pregnant vaginal microbiome have largely been limited to Northern American populations. Using MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, we characterised the vaginal microbiota of a mixed British cohort of women (n = 42) who experienced uncomplicated term delivery and who were sampled longitudinally throughout pregnancy (8-12, 20-22, 28-30 and 34-36 weeks gestation) and 6 weeks postpartum. We show that vaginal microbiome composition dramatically changes postpartum to become less Lactobacillus spp. dominant with increased alpha-diversity irrespective of the community structure during pregnancy and independent of ethnicity. While the pregnancy vaginal microbiome was characteristically dominated by Lactobacillus spp. and low alpha-diversity, unlike Northern American populations, a significant number of pregnant women this British population had a L. jensenii-dominated microbiome characterised by low alpha-diversity. L. jensenii was predominantly observed in women of Asian and Caucasian ethnicity whereas L. gasseri was absent in samples from Black women. This study reveals new insights into biogeographical and ethnic effects upon the pregnancy and postpartum vaginal microbiome and has important implications for future studies exploring relationships between the vaginal microbiome, host health and pregnancy outcomes.

PMID:
25758319
PMCID:
PMC4355684
DOI:
10.1038/srep08988
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center