Another important piece of the puzzle on links between the vaginal microbiome and preterm birth.

New research shows women who had a preterm birth (before 37 weeks' duration) had a higher diversity of bacteria in their vaginal microbiome than women who gave birth at term.

During pregnancy, usually there is an increase in Lactobacilli bacteria in the vagina and a decrease in microbial diversity - but this research indicates that with preterm birth the opposite happens, there is a decrease in Lactobacilli and an increase in microbial diversity.

"Women who delivered preterm had decreased Lactobacilli spp. abundance as well as increased abundance of Gardnerella and other bacterial vaginosis (BV) and aerobic vaginitis (AV) associated genera including Atopobium, Sneathia, Gemella, Megasphaera, Dorea, Streptococcus, and Escherichia/Shigella"

IMAGE CREDIT: 1.IMAGE CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III

The importance of the vaginal microbiome during pregnancy is explained in detail in our Infant Microbiome course - one of our Microbiome Courses:

Link to new research paper: