Chapter 12 : The Vaginal Microbiome

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The collection of microbes (microbiota) in the human vagina with their associated genes (microbiome) and gene products helps to shape the physiology of the vagina (1). Different vaginal microbial communities are associated with different metabolic states, immunological responses, and risks of adverse health outcomes including preterm birth and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections. Tools in molecular microbiology have cataloged the diversity of vaginal microbes, leading to a more complete census, and have identified species that may be useful indicators of health or markers of disease risk.

Citation: Fredricks D. 2016. The Vaginal Microbiome, p 138-145. In Persing D, Tenover F, Hayden R, Ieven M, Miller M, Nolte F, Tang Y, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819071.ch12
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Image of FIGURE 1

Vaginal bacterial communities in all women. (A) A novel variant of hierarchical clustering was used to generate a clustering tree depicting the bacterial diversity in 220 women with and without BV. The scale bar represents KR distance, a generalization of UniFrac. The colored bars represent bacterial taxa that were most abundant in each sample. Less abundant taxa are grouped in the “other” category. BV status by Amsel criteria (B) and Gram stain (C) is provided for all women in the two vertical bars. In the absence of BV, the vaginal microbiota was dominated by or . Women with BV had more diverse bacterial communities ( ).

Citation: Fredricks D. 2016. The Vaginal Microbiome, p 138-145. In Persing D, Tenover F, Hayden R, Ieven M, Miller M, Nolte F, Tang Y, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819071.ch12
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