The Relationship between Vaginal Microbiota Composition and Poor Pregnancy Outcomes David MacIntyre1 1Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, UK
Acending vaginal infection has long been considered a major cause of poor pregnancy outcomes including infection-induced preterm birth. However, culture independent characterisation of vaginal microbiota has provided new understanding of relationships between composition and outcome. For example, we have shown that dominance of the pregnancy vaginal microbiota by L. crispatus confers protection against preterm birth whereas highly diverse communities void in L. crispatus are a risk factor for preterm premature rupture of membranes and subsequent development of early onset neonatal sepsis. Recent findings from our group also indicate that specific interventions during pregnancy can negatively impact reproductive tract microbial composition and increase risk of poor outcomes for both mother and baby. Finally, I will describe some of our recent efforts to apply novel analytical methods for rapid assessment of microbiota-maternal host interactions that could be used in a clinical setting for patient stratification and targeted treatment strategies.
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