Vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions in a cohort of primarily African-American women who ultimately underwent spontaneous preterm birth or delivered at term

Violetta Florova, Roberto Romero, Adi L. Tarca, Jose Galaz, Kenichiro Motomura, Madison M. Ahmad, Chaur Dong Hsu, Richard Hsu, Anna Tong, Jacques Ravel, Kevin R. Theis, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recent studies suggest that alterations in the vaginal microbiome allow for the assessment of the risk for spontaneous preterm birth (PTB), the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, the associations between the local immune response and the vaginal microbiome are still poorly understood. Herein, we characterize the vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions in women who ultimately underwent PTB and in those who delivered at term. Methods: Vaginal fluid samples from 52 pregnant women (of whom 18 underwent PTB and 34 delivered at term) were collected between 10 and 32 weeks of gestation in a case-control study. Concentrations of 33 immune mediators were determined using sensitive and specific immunoassays. The previously published 16S rRNA gene sequence and bacterial phylotype data of these subjects were utilized in this study. Linear mixed effects models were utilized to test associations between vaginal immune mediator concentrations and bacterial phylotype relative abundances. Results: 1) In the overall study population, vaginal concentrations of CXCL10, CCL2, CCL3, SLP1 and VEGF negatively correlated with non-Lactobacillus, Community State Type IV (CST IV) members of the vaginal microbiome; 2) CXCL10, in particular, negatively correlated with 15 bacterial phylotypes, most of which are typical members of CST IV, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Megasphaera spp., and Atopobium vaginae; 3) Gemella spp., also members of CST IV, negatively correlated with vaginal concentrations of VEGF, CCL2, CCL3, SLPI, and CXCL10; 4) when comparing PTB cases to term controls, five soluble immune mediators (CCL26, CCL22, CCL2, CXCL10, and IL-16), especially CCL26, were negatively correlated with five typical members of CST IV: Sneathia sanguinegens, Parvimonas micra, Veillonellaceae, BVAB2, and Gemella spp.; and 5) Sneathia sanguinegens had stronger negative associations with all five soluble immune mediators (CCL26, CCL22, CCL2, CXCL10, and IL-16) in PTB cases than in term controls. Conclusions: The assessment of vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions revealed that specific soluble immune mediators, mainly CXCL10, negatively correlated with typical members of CST IV of the vaginal microbiome. Sneathia sanguinegens, in particular, had stronger negative associations with different immune mediators, including CXCL10 and CCL26, in women who ultimately underwent PTB compared to those who delivered at term. These findings provide insight into the vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions in normal and complicated pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155316
JournalCytokine
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA gene
  • CCL26
  • CXCL10
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Pregnancy
  • Sneathia
  • Vaginal microbiota
  • β-defensins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions in a cohort of primarily African-American women who ultimately underwent spontaneous preterm birth or delivered at term'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this