Crosstalk between Vaginal Microbiome and Female Health: A review

Microb Pathog. 2019 Nov:136:103696. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2019.103696. Epub 2019 Aug 23.


Microbiota plays a fundamental role in the overall development and defences of human beings. The majority of indigenous microbiota exists in a mutually beneficial relationship with their hosts, while few of these are opportunistic pathogens that can lead to life-threatening diseases and chronic infections. These microbial communities constitute the primary defence against infections induced by non-indigenous invasive organisms. Female vaginal ecosystem thought to have been shaped over the years by co-evolutionary processes occurring between the particular microbial partners and the human host. Vaginal secretions contain numerous microorganisms and the host provides them nutrients for their growth and development. Disruptions in vaginal association with the microbiomes lead to the change in the vaginal environment, which enhanced the risk of acquiring diseases including sexually transmitted infections, bacterial vaginosis, fungal infections, preterm birth etc. The focus of this review is on the detailed analysis of vaginal microbiome interplay and its overall impact on female health. The mutualistic relationship between the vagina and residing microbial species has been well described. Finally, the recent advancements in the detection of microbiome interactions with the vaginal environment have been presented.

Keywords: Diagnostics; Lactobacillus; Pre/probiotics; Vaginal infections; Vaginal microbiome (VMB).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health*
  • Host Microbial Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Reproductive Tract Infections
  • Vagina / microbiology*