1887

Abstract

The composition of the human vaginal microbiome has been extensively studied and is known to influence reproductive health. However, the functional roles of individual taxa and their contributions to negative health outcomes have yet to be well characterized. Here, we examine two vaginal bacterial taxa grouped within the genus that have been previously associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV) and pregnancy complications. Phylogenetic analyses support the classification of these taxa as two distinct species. These two phylotypes, phylotype 1 (MP1) and phylotype 2 (MP2), differ in genomic structure and metabolic potential, suggestive of differential roles within the vaginal environment. Further, these vaginal taxa show evidence of genome reduction and changes in DNA base composition, which may be common features of host dependence and/or adaptation to the vaginal environment. In a cohort of 3870 women, we observed that MP1 has a stronger positive association with bacterial vaginosis whereas MP2 was positively associated with trichomoniasis. MP1, in contrast to MP2 and other common BV-associated organisms, was not significantly excluded in pregnancy. In a cohort of 52 pregnant women, MP1 was both present and transcriptionally active in 75.4 % of vaginal samples. Conversely, MP2 was largely absent in the pregnant cohort. This study provides insight into the evolutionary history, genomic potential and predicted functional role of two clinically relevant vaginal microbial taxa.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • National Institutes of Health (Award R25GM090084)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NicoleR Jimenez
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Award R21HD092965)
    • Principle Award Recipient: JenniferM Fettweis
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Award GAPPS PPB)
    • Principle Award Recipient: JenniferM Fettweis
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Award U54HD080784; R01HD092415)
    • Principle Award Recipient: A BuckGregory
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Award UH3AI083263)
    • Principle Award Recipient: A BuckGregory
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2021-12-13
2022-01-29
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