Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Dec;34(12):2367-76.
doi: 10.1007/s10096-015-2490-y. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

Vaginal Microbiome and Metabolome Highlight Specific Signatures of Bacterial Vaginosis


Vaginal Microbiome and Metabolome Highlight Specific Signatures of Bacterial Vaginosis

B Vitali et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. .


In this study, we sought to find novel bacterial and metabolic hallmarks for bacterial vaginosis (BV). We studied the vaginal microbiome and metabolome of vaginal fluids from BV-affected patients (n = 43) and healthy controls (n = 37) by means of an integrated approach based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR). The correlations between the clinical condition and vaginal bacterial communities were investigated by principal component analysis (PCA). To define the metabolomics signatures of BV, 100 discriminant analysis by projection on latent structure (PLS-DA) models were calculated. Bacterial signatures distinguishing the health condition and BV were identified by qPCR. Lactobacillus crispatus strongly featured the healthy vagina, while increased concentrations of Prevotella, Atopobium and Mycoplasma hominis specifically marked the infection. (1)H-NMR analysis has led to the identification and quantification of 17 previously unreported molecules. BV was associated with changes in the concentration of metabolites belonging to the families of amines, organic acids, short chain fatty acids, amino acids, nitrogenous bases and monosaccharides. In particular, maltose, kynurenine and NAD(+) primarily characterised the healthy status, while nicotinate, malonate and acetate were the best metabolic hallmarks of BV. This study helps to better understand the role of the vaginal microbiota and metabolome in the development of BV infection. We propose a molecular approach for the diagnosis of BV based on quantitative detection in the vaginal fluids of Atopobium, Prevotella and M. hominis, and nicotinate, malonate and acetate by combining qPCR and (1)H-NMR.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 25 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Jan;9(1):27-38 - PubMed
    1. Appl Spectrosc. 2010 Sep;64(9):1007-16 - PubMed
    1. J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 1;210(7):1019-28 - PubMed
    1. J Clin Microbiol. 1991 Feb;29(2):297-301 - PubMed
    1. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Nov;68(11):5445-51 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources