Pre-Eclampsia: Microbiota possibly playing a role

Pharmacol Res. 2020 May;155:104692. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104692. Epub 2020 Feb 15.


Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a complication of pregnancy that is associated with mortality and morbidity in mothers and fetuses worldwide. Oxygen dysregulation in the placenta, abnormal remodeling of the spiral artery, defective placentation, oxidative stress at the fetal-maternal border, inflammation and angiogenic impairment in the maternal circulation are the main causes of this syndrome. These events result in a systemic and diffuse endothelial cell dysfunction, an essential pathophysiological feature of PE. The impact of bacteria on the multifactorial pathway of PE is the recent focus of scientific inquiry since microbes may cause each of the aforementioned features. Microbes and their derivatives by producing antigens and other inflammatory factors may trigger infection and inflammatory responses. A mother's bacterial communities in the oral cavity, gut, vagina, cervix and uterine along with the placenta and amniotic fluid microbiota may be involved in the development of PE. Here, we review the mechanistic and pathogenic role of bacteria in the development of PE. Then, we highlight the impact of alterations in a set of maternal microbiota (dysbiosis) on the pathogenesis of PE.

Keywords: Bacteria; Dysbiotic microbiota; Microbiota; Placental dysfunction; Preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / microbiology
  • Microbiota*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / microbiology*
  • Pregnancy