The Human Vaginal Microbiome

  • Brenda A. Wilson
  • Susan M. Thomas
  • Mengfei Ho


Humans live in association with abundant, complex, and dynamic microbial populations (the microbiome) that colonize many body sites, including the vaginal tract. Interactions between the host and the vaginal microbiota greatly affect women’s health, where they often serve a protective role in maintaining vaginal health. Disruption of the microbial composition can lead to increased susceptibility to various urogenital diseases, including bacterial vaginosis (BV), vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as infection with Chlamydia, Trichomonas, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The composition of the vaginal microbiota also has a notable impact on pregnancy and neonatal outcome, including complications such as preterm labor and delivery. Understanding the composition and dynamics of the vaginal ecosystem as well as the involvement of metabolic and immunologic components is an area of increasing interest and research.


Bacterial Vaginosis Lactobacillus Species Vaginal Microbiota Sialidase Activity Vulvovaginal Candidiasis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda A. Wilson
    • 1
  • Susan M. Thomas
    • 2
  • Mengfei Ho
    • 3
  1. 1.Host-Microbe Systems Theme, Department of MicrobiologyInstitute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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