Vaginal Microbiome of premenopausal Indian women: A comparison of healthy and dysbiotic flora Rinku Pramanick1, Niranjan Mayadeo2, Himangi Warke2 and Clara Aranha1 1 ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Parel, Mumbai 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai Presenting author email: firstname.lastname@example.org Corresponding author email: email@example.com
The vaginal microbiome plays a critical role in determining the progression of female genital tract infections. Since the vaginal microbiome varies with geography and ethnicities, deciphering the lacking information on Indian women is needed. We aimed to decode the vaginal microbial architecture of women with healthy and dysbiotic flora. To achieve this, we sequenced 16S rRNA V3-V4 region (HiSeq Illumina) of DNA extracted from vaginal swabs collected from women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) (n=10) and healthy controls (n=10) of 18-45yrs. The abundance profile of 20 samples had 876 OTUs from 33 families and 45 genera. Rarefaction analysis showed higher number of species in normal flora compared to BV. Alpha diversity as measured by Shannon diversity revealed normal flora had less diverse communities compared to BV. Beta diversity comparison using Bray Curtis indicated distinct microbial communities between normal and BV flora. The most abundant Phylum that showed significant difference between normal and BV samples were Firmicutes (p=0.0004) and Actinobacteria (p=0.009) where Firmicutes were abundant in normal flora. A significant difference was observed for relative proportions of Lactobacillus, Gardnerella, Aerococcus, Brevibacterium between the groups. Lactobacillus abundance decreased significantly in BV flora (14.57%), as compared to normal flora (83.25%) whereas the abundance of Bifidobacterium was observed increased from 12.0% in normal flora to 45.25% in BV. Besides, increased levels of Klebsiella, Sneathia, Coriobacteriaceae and Prevotella was noted in BV. L.crispatus was exclusively present in normal flora whereas L.iners was detected from both the groups with 80% and 100% prevalence in normal and BV flora respectively. The study provides insights into the vaginal microbiome structure of Indian women that will enable us to unravel the microbial biomarkers and explore the prospective candidates for restoring the vaginal microbiota.
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