Metaproteomics Characterization of the Vaginal Microbiome in Pregnant Women
Zaneera H. Hassan1, Myrna G. Serrano2, Jennifer M. Fettweis2-3, Kimberly K. Jefferson4, Gregory A. Buck2,4, Adam M. Hawkridge1,5
1Department of Pharmaceutics, 2Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 5Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, VA
African American women have a disproportionately higher risk for pregnancy related complications such as preterm birth1, yet the cause(s) of this disparity is (are) currently unknown. The impact of the vaginal microbiome on pregnancy is poorly understood, but striking differences have been observed in African American women relative to other racial groups1. To better understand the complex interplay of the microbiome and pregnancy, we used high-performance mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to map the vaginal metaproteomes in ten pregnant African American women participating in the VCU Multi-'Omic Microbiome Study-Pregnancy Initiative (MOMS-PI). The LC-MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of 1,331 proteins, ~67% identified as human while the remaining ~33% were bacterial. A total of 29 genera were matched to the bacterial proteins identified, with the most dominant organisms being from the genera Lactobacillus and Gardnerella. Label-free quantification of these proteins compared to microbial profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing show good agreement in many of the samples analyzed. This positive correlation, more apparent for abundant organisms than for less dominant taxa, is promising in our efforts to integrate these 'omics datasets. Our long-term goal is to implement quantitative LC-MS/MS method to characterize, stratify, and uncover complex microbiome-host pathways interactions in full-term and preterm phenotypes that could be used for early diagnosis and treatment.
- Fettweis, J. M., Brooks, J. P., Serrano, M. G., Sheth, N. U., Girerd, P. H., Edwards, D. J., Buck, G. A. (2014). Differences in vaginal microbiome in African American women versus women of European ancestry. Microbiology, 160(Pt_10), 2272-2282.
This work was supported by funds from the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, an initiative of Seattle Children's, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.