Vaginal microbiota and human papillomavirus infection among young Swedish women

NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2020 Oct 12;6(1):39. doi: 10.1038/s41522-020-00146-8.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. To define the HPV-associated microbial community among a high vaccination coverage population, we carried out a cross-sectional study with 345 young Swedish women. The microbial composition and its association with HPV infection, including 27 HPV types, were analyzed. Microbial alpha-diversity was found significantly higher in the HPV-infected group (especially with oncogenic HPV types and multiple HPV types), compared with the HPV negative group. The vaginal microbiota among HPV-infected women was characterized by a larger number of bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria (BVAB), Sneathia, Prevotella, and Megasphaera. In addition, the correlation analysis demonstrated that twice as many women with non-Lactobacillus-dominant vaginal microbiota were infected with oncogenic HPV types, compared with L. crispatus-dominated vaginal microbiota. The data suggest that HPV infection, especially oncogenic HPV types, is strongly associated with a non-Lactobacillus-dominant vaginal microbiota, regardless of age and vaccination status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vagina / virology
  • Young Adult


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines