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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMetagenomics of the Human Body
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781441970893
ISBN (Print)9781441970886
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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