The changing landscape of the vaginal microbiome

Clin Lab Med. 2014 Dec;34(4):747-61. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


Deep sequence analysis of the vaginal microbiome is revealing an unexpected complexity that was not anticipated as recently as several years ago. The lack of clarity in the definition of a healthy vaginal microbiome, much less an unhealthy vaginal microbiome, underscores the need for more investigation of these phenomena. Some clarity may be gained by the careful analysis of the genomes of the specific bacteria in these women. Ongoing studies will clarify this process and offer relief for women with recurring vaginal maladies and hope for pregnant women to avoid the experience of preterm birth.

Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; Metagenomics; Microbiota; Pregnancy; Preterm birth; Vaginal microbiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / microbiology
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / pathology
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / physiology
  • Microbiota*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / microbiology
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology