The Vaginal Microbiome and Susceptibility to Urogenital Infections

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE


New research suggests that the vaginal microbiota (i.e. the communities of bacteria inhabiting the vagina) may play a critical role in women’s reproductive health. “Optimal” vaginal communities dominated by specific Lactobacilli may help protect women from acquisition of sexually transmitted infections and possibly even urinary tract infections. In contrast, vaginal microbiota that are low in Lactobacilli or lack the most protective types of Lactobacilli, may put women at increased risk of these infections. In this talk we will discuss the basic structure of the vaginal microbiota, associations with STIs and UTIs as well as some possible mechanisms by which the vaginal microbiota may affect susceptibility to these infections. Lastly, we will discuss future research-both the promise of and some challenges relating to developing microbiome based therapeutics to improve women’s health.

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