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Nat Med. 2019 Jun;25(6):1012-1021. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0450-2. Epub 2019 May 29.

The vaginal microbiome and preterm birth.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
3
Center for Microbiome Engineering and Data Analysis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
4
Supply Chain Management and Analytics, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
5
Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, College of Humanities and Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
6
Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
7
VCU Life Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
8
Division of Neonatal Medicine, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
9
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
10
Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, College of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
11
Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, VCU Life Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
12
School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
13
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
14
Department of Women's Health, Dell School of Medicine, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.
15
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.
16
Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.
17
Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA.
18
Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
19
Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
20
Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, Seattle, WA, USA.
21
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
22
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA. gregory.buck@vcuhealth.org.
23
Center for Microbiome Engineering and Data Analysis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA. gregory.buck@vcuhealth.org.
24
Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA. gregory.buck@vcuhealth.org.

Abstract

The incidence of preterm birth exceeds 10% worldwide. There are significant disparities in the frequency of preterm birth among populations within countries, and women of African ancestry disproportionately bear the burden of risk in the United States. In the present study, we report a community resource that includes 'omics' data from approximately 12,000 samples as part of the integrative Human Microbiome Project. Longitudinal analyses of 16S ribosomal RNA, metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and cytokine profiles from 45 preterm and 90 term birth controls identified harbingers of preterm birth in this cohort of women predominantly of African ancestry. Women who delivered preterm exhibited significantly lower vaginal levels of Lactobacillus crispatus and higher levels of BVAB1, Sneathia amnii, TM7-H1, a group of Prevotella species and nine additional taxa. The first representative genomes of BVAB1 and TM7-H1 are described. Preterm-birth-associated taxa were correlated with proinflammatory cytokines in vaginal fluid. These findings highlight new opportunities for assessment of the risk of preterm birth.

PMID:
31142849
DOI:
10.1038/s41591-019-0450-2

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