Cervicovaginal microbiome dysbiosis is associated with proteome changes related to alterations of the cervicovaginal mucosal barrier.

Authored by: Borgdorff H., Gautam R., Armstrong S. D., Xia D., Ndayisaba G. F., van Teijlingen N. H., Geijtenbeek T. B. H., Wastling J. M., van de Wijgert J. H. H. M.

This study examined the presence of vaginal Lactobacillus proteins among sex workers in Rwanda. “We looked at the relative abundance of Lactobacillus proteins, comparing women with a Lactobacillus-dominated vaginal flora or microbiota to women with dysbiosis or disturbance of the vaginal flora or microbiota. Lactobacillus proteins may play important roles in maintaining a healthy Lactobacillus-dominated microbiota. Dysbiosis is associated with increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. During dysbiosis, the number of lactobacilli in the vagina decreases and a diverse mix of other bacteria becomes established. However, why dysbiosis happens in the first place remains largely unclear and currently there are no interventions available to help establish and maintain a Lactobacillus-dominated microbiota. We identified seven Lactobacillus iners proteins. Two glycolysis proteins and a ferritin-like protein from Lactobacillus iners were significantly associated with dominance of Lactobacillus iners, independent of vaginal pH or the abundance of Lactobacillus iners. A similar trend was seen for Lactobacillus crispatus proteins, but the number of women with a Lactobacillus crispatus-containing microbiota was smaller. These proteins might have important roles in maintaining a healthy Lactobacillus-dominated microbiota. Further study is needed to elucidate their function and their ability to prevent vaginal dysbiosis”.