Kim, T. K. et al. Heterogeneity of vaginal microbial communities within individuals. J. Clin. Microbiol. 47, 1181-1189

Host-Microbe Systems Theme, Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
Journal of clinical microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 02/2009; 47(4):1181-9. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00854-08
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Recent culture-independent studies have revealed that a healthy vaginal ecosystem harbors a surprisingly complex assemblage
of microorganisms. However, the spatial distribution and composition of vaginal microbial populations have not been investigated
using molecular methods. Here, we evaluated site-specific microbial composition within the vaginal ecosystem and examined
the influence of sampling technique in detection of the vaginal microbiota. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were prepared from
samples obtained from different locations (cervix, fornix, outer vaginal canal) and by different methods (swabbing, scraping,
lavaging) from the vaginal tracts of eight clinically healthy, asymptomatic women. The data reveal that the vaginal microbiota
is not homogenous throughout the vaginal tract but differs significantly within an individual with regard to anatomical site
and sampling method used. Thus, this study illuminates the complex structure of the vaginal ecosystem and calls for the consideration
of microenvironments when sampling vaginal microbiota as a clinical predictor of vaginal health.

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    • "Recent studies (Zhou et al., 2010; Ravel et al., 2011; Ravel et al., 2013) have revealed Lactobacillus spp. in low abundance in the vaginal tract of a subpopulation of apparently healthy women with high Nugent scores, who have been categorized as 'asymptomatic BV' (ABV) in contrast to 'symptomatic BV' (SBV) subjects. Indeed, two human subjects (Hm403 and Hm409) in our study could be categorized as ABV, as they had reduced relative abundance of Lactobacilli, 65.9 and 3.0% with corresponding Nugent scores of 6 and 9, respectively (Kim et al., 2009; Yeoman et al., 2013). We considered the possibility that the ABV-like and SBV-like human microbiomes might be more similar to that of NHPs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial communities colonizing the reproductive tracts of primates (including humans) impact the health, survival and fitness of the host, and thereby the evolution of the host species. Despite their importance, we currently have a poor understanding of primate microbiomes. The composition and structure of microbial communities vary considerably depending on the host and environmental factors. We conducted comparative analyses of the primate vaginal microbiome using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of a phylogenetically broad range of primates to test for factors affecting the diversity of primate vaginal ecosystems. The nine primate species included: humans (Homo sapiens), yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus), olive baboons (Papio anubis), lemurs (Propithecus diadema), howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), red colobus (Piliocolobus rufomitratus), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Our results indicated that all primates exhibited host-specific vaginal microbiota and that humans were distinct from other primates in both microbiome composition and diversity. In contrast to the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome showed limited congruence with host phylogeny, and neither captivity nor diet elicited substantial effects on the vaginal microbiomes of primates. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance and Wilcoxon tests revealed correlations among vaginal microbiota and host species-specific socioecological factors, particularly related to sexuality, including: female promiscuity, baculum length, gestation time, mating group size and neonatal birth weight. The proportion of unclassified taxa observed in nonhuman primate samples increased with phylogenetic distance from humans, indicative of the existence of previously unrecognized microbial taxa. These findings contribute to our understanding of host-microbe variation and coevolution, microbial biogeography, and disease risk, and have important implications for the use of animal models in studies of human sexual and reproductive diseases.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 18 July 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.90.
    The ISME Journal 07/2014; 8(12). DOI:10.1038/ismej.2014.90 · 9.30 Impact Factor
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    • "Even phylogenetically similar bacterial species may exhibit different ecological and virulence properties (Jaspers and Overmann, 2004). New direct DNA analyses show functional diversity in Lactobacillus and many other taxa (Verhelst et al., 2004; Verstraelen et al., 2004; Zhou et al., 2004; Hyman et al., 2005; Kim et al., 2009; Yeoman et al., 2010, 2013). In addition, bacterial communities composed of different species may still occupy similar ecological niches and exhibit similar metabolic functions (Langenheder et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The primate body hosts trillions of microbes. Interactions between primate hosts and these microbes profoundly affect primate physiology, reproduction, health, survival, and ultimately, evolution. It is increasingly clear that primate health cannot be understood fully without knowledge of host-microbial interactions. Our goals here are to review what is known about microbiomes of the female reproductive tract and to explore several factors that influence variation within individuals, as well as within and between primate species. Much of our knowledge of microbial variation derives from studies of humans, and from microbes located in nonreproductive regions (e.g., the gut). We review work suggesting that the vaginal microbiota affects female health, fecundity, and pregnancy outcomes, demonstrating the selective potential for these agents. We explore the factors that correlate with microbial variation within species. Initial colonization by microbes depends on the manner of birth; most microbial variation is structured by estrogen levels that change with age (i.e., at puberty and menopause) and through the menstrual cycle. Microbial communities vary by location within the vagina and can depend on the sampling methods used (e.g., swab, lavage, or pap smear). Interindividual differences also exist, and while this variation is not completely understood, evidence points more to differences in estrogen levels, rather than differences in external physical environment. When comparing across species, reproductive-age humans show distinct microbial communities, generally dominated by Lactobacillus, unlike other primates. We develop evolutionary hypotheses to explain the marked differences in microbial communities. While much remains to be done to test these hypotheses, we argue that the ample variation in primate mating and reproductive behavior offers excellent opportunities to evaluate host-microbe coevolution and adaptation.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 12/2013; 152(Suppl 57). DOI:10.1002/ajpa.22395 · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    • "The swab was placed into 1 ml sterile saline, placed on ice packs immediately, and transferred to the laboratory within 30 min. The sample was pelleted by centrifugation at ≥10,000 × g (25°C) for 10 min and stored at −80°C until further analysis, as previously published [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The female genital tract is an important bacterial habitat of the human body, and vaginal microbiota plays a crucial role in vaginal health. The alteration of vaginal microbiota affects millions of women annually, and is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes, including human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. However, previous studies have primarily focused on the association between bacterial vaginosis and HPV infection. Little is known about the composition of vaginal microbial communities involved in HPV acquisition. The present study was performed to investigate whether HPV infection was associated with the diversity and composition of vaginal microbiota. Methods: A total of 70 healthy women (32 HPV-negative and 38 HPV-positive) with normal cervical cytology were enrolled in this study. Culture-independent polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to measure the diversity and composition of vaginal microbiota of all subjects. Results: We found significantly greater biological diversity in the vaginal microbiota of HPV-positive women (p < 0.001). Lactobacillus, including L. gallinarum, L. iners and L. gasseri, was the predominant genus and was detected in all women. No significant difference between HPV-positive and HPV-negative women was found for the frequency of detection of L. gallinarum (p = 0.775) or L. iners (p = 0.717), but L. gasseri was found at a significantly higher frequency in HPV-positive women (p = 0.005). Gardnerella vaginalis was also found at a significantly higher frequency in HPV-positive women (p = 0.031). Dendrograms revealed that vaginal microbiota from the two groups had different profiles. Conclusions: Our study is the first systematic evaluation of an association between vaginal microbiota and HPV infection, and we have demonstrated that compared with HPV-negative women, the bacterial diversity of HPV-positive women is more complex and the composition of vaginal microbiota is different.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 06/2013; 13(1):271. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-271 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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