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Sci Rep. 2019 May 23;9(1):7750. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44157-8.

Vaginal Microbiota Composition Correlates Between Pap Smear Microscopy and Next Generation Sequencing and Associates to Socioeconomic Status.

Author information

1
Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
2
Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki and HUSLAB, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
3
Finnish Cancer Registry, Helsinki, Finland.
4
Human Microbiome Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
5
Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK.
6
Human Microbiome Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. anne.salonen@helsinki.fi.

Abstract

Recent research on vaginal microbiota relies on high throughput sequencing while microscopic methods have a long history in clinical use. We investigated the correspondence between microscopic findings of Pap smears and the vaginal microbiota composition determined by next generation sequencing among 50 asymptomatic women. Both methods produced coherent results regarding the distinction between Lactobacillus-dominant versus mixed microbiota, reassuring gynaecologists for the use of Pap smear or wet mount microscopy for rapid evaluation of vaginal bacteria as part of diagnosis. Cytologic findings identified women with bacterial vaginosis and revealed that cytolysis of vaginal epithelial cells is associated to Lactobacillus crispatus-dominated microbiota. Education and socio-economic status were associated to the vaginal microbiota variation. Our results highlight the importance of including socio-economic status as a co-factor in future vaginal microbiota studies.

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