Cervicovaginal microbiome in patients with recurrent pregnancy loss

J Reprod Immunol. 2023 Jun:157:103944. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2023.103944. Epub 2023 Apr 7.


There have been few studies concerning an association between unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) and the microbiome. A recent study including 67 patients demonstrated that an increase in Ureaplasma species in the endometrium raised the risk of miscarriage with an euploid karyotype. While endometrial sampling is invasive, cervicovaginal sampling is not. We compared vaginal and cervical microbiomes with a 16 S ribosomal RNA sequence between 88 patients with unexplained RPL and 17 healthy women with no history of miscarriage. We prospectively assessed risk factors for maternal colonization at a subsequent miscarriage without an aneuploid karyotype in patients. Cervicovaginal bacteria were dominated by Lactobacillus iners, Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae and Bifidobacterium breve in Japanese population. The proportions of Delftia and unknown bacteria in the cervix were significantly higher in patients with RPL than in controls. Streptococcus, Microbacterium, Delftia, Anaerobacillus and Chloroplast in the cervix were significantly higher in patients with a history of chorioamnionitis compared to the controls. The abundance of Cutibacterium and Anaerobacillus in the cervix was significantly higher in patients who had subsequently miscarried compared to those who gave birth. The miscarriage rate in patients with higher proportions of both Cutibacterium and Anaerobacillus (66.7%, 2/3) was significantly greater than that of patients who lacked these bacteria (9.2%, 6/65, adjusted odds ratio 16.90, 95% confidence interval 1.27-225.47, p = 0.032). The presence of certain bacteria could be a predictor of subsequent miscarriage without an aneuploid karyotype. The cervicovaginal microbiome might be useful for investigating a possible cause of RPL.

Keywords: Cervix; Microbiome; Miscarriage; Recurrent pregnancy loss; Vagina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual* / epidemiology
  • Aneuploidy
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microbiota* / genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Vagina / microbiology