The human vaginal microbiome

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Linhares, I. M.; Minis, E.; Robial, R.; Witkin, S. S.. The human vaginal microbiome. In: . MICROBIOME AND METABOLOME IN DIAGNOSIS, THERAPY, AND OTHER STRATEGIC APPLICATIONS: ELSEVIER, 2019. p.109-114.
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Women have developed a unique vaginal microbiome, distinct from all other mammals, to prevent infection and to protect both the mother and fetus during pregnancy. Lactobacilli, predominantly L. crispatus and L. iners, are numerically dominant in the vagina, and their presence increases further during pregnancy. Their predominance may prevent other microorganisms, from adhering to the vaginal epithelium and initiating an infection. They produce lactic acid that acidifies the vagina and inhibits the growth of other microorganisms. Lactic acid also specifically inactivates a number of sexually transmitted viral and bacterial pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus, herpesvirus, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and the bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis. Lactic acid also possesses immunological properties that prevent activation of proinflammatory immunity in the vagina, while concomitantly promoting the release of antibacterial products from vaginal epithelial cells. L. crispatus also uniquely promotes vaginal health, by inducing autophagy in epithelial cells. © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lactic acid, Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus iners, Vaginal immunology, Vaginal microbiome
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