The reproductive tract microbiota in pregnancy

Biosci Rep. 2021 Sep 30;41(9):BSR20203908. doi: 10.1042/BSR20203908.


The reproductive tract microbiota plays a crucial role in maintenance of normal pregnancy and influences reproductive outcomes. Microbe-host interactions in pregnancy remain poorly understood and their role in shaping immune modulation is still being uncovered. In this review, we describe the composition of vaginal microbial communities in the reproductive tract and their association with reproductive outcomes. We also consider strategies for manipulating microbiota composition by using live biotherapeutics, selective eradication of pathogenic bacteria with antibiotics and vaginal microbiota transplantation. Finally, future developments in this field and the need for mechanistic studies to explore the functional significance of reproductive tract microbial communities are highlighted.

Keywords: Microbiota; Pregnancy; Reproduction.