Microbiota of the Female Upper Genital Tract


Identification: Mitchell, Caroline


Description

Microbiota of the Female Upper Genital Tract
 
Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
 
While dogma in the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology has long asserted that the uterus is sterile, studies spanning five decades have demonstrated the presence of microbes in the upper genital tract of ostensibly healthy women.  Recent application of next-generation sequencing technology to upper genital tract samples has expanded the description of the upper tract microbial community, and has suggested links between upper tract microbiota and reproductive health outcomes ranging from pregnancy implantation to endometrial cancer.  This presentation will review what is known about the origin, composition, and stability of uterine and fallopian tube microbiota, will outline specific challenges associated with evaluation of these sites, and will discuss the potential impact of the upper tract microbiome on reproductive health outcomes.

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