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Abstract

The vaginal microbiota, normally characterized by lactobacilli presence, is crucial for vaginal health. Members belonging to and species exert crucial protective functions against pathogens, although a total comprehension of factors that influence their dominance in healthy women is still lacking. Here we investigated the complete genome sequence and comprehensive phenotypic profile of strain BC5 and strain BC12, two vaginal strains featured by anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities. Phenotype microarray (PM) results revealed an improved capacity of BC5 to utilize different carbon sources as compared to BC12, although some specific carbon sources that can be associated to the human diet were only metabolized by BC12, i.e. uridine, amygdalin, tagatose. Additionally, the two strains were mostly distinct in the capacity to utilize the nitrogen sources under analysis. On the other hand, BC12 showed tolerance/resistance towards twice the number of stressors (i.e. antibiotics, toxic metals etc.) with respect to BC5. The divergent phenotypes observed in PM were supported by the identification in either BC5 or BC12 of specific genetic determinants that were found to be part of the core genome of each species. The PM results in combination with comparative genome data provide insights into the possible environmental factors and genetic traits supporting the predominance of either BC5 or BC12 in the vaginal niche, giving also indications for metabolic predictions at the species level.

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2021-06-07
2022-01-24
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