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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jul;27(7):446-454. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Cervicovaginal Microbiomes-Threats and Possibilities.

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Lawson Health Research Institute, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario, N6A 4V2, Canada; University of Western Ontario, Richmond Street, London, Canada. Electronic address:


The microbiome of the vagina has universal traits that override race, diet, lifestyle, and socioeconomic status. While five community state types have been proposed, the actual number is likely closer to ten. Nevertheless, while lactobacilli dominate in health for most women, a highly diverse community or single pathogens are associated with morbidity. The fact that four or five Lactobacillus species are dominant in healthy women worldwide, raises questions of why they evolved in this niche, what they are doing, and how their apparent protective properties can be harnessed? This opinion article explores this universality, elements of lactobacilli that may imprint women's health and that of their offspring, and proposes key areas for future study.


bacterial vaginosis; lactobacilli; microbiota; urinary; vagina

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