Angewandte Mikrobiologie: Offener Zugang
Offener Zugang

ISSN: 2471-9315


A Metagenomics-Based Study on Functional Associations between Vaginal Microbiota and Phenotypes of HPV-Infected Patients

Qi Chen1, Jhih-Hua Jhong, Shangfu Li, Chien-Hsun Huang*, Tzong-Yi Lee

Aim: In this study, we focus on the complex and mutable ecological of vaginal microbiome to expound the association between phenotype.

Methods and results: In a study of 39 Taiwan women, 4 microbial community types were identified by initial unsupervised clustering analysis base on the microbial abundance using 16S rRNA sequencing data. We found that species diversity was different among these community types, which was mainly reflected in evenness (p<0.001). Compared to other community types, low evenness group shown high relative abundance of Lactobacillus, higher Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection and more serious cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and squamous intraepithelial lesion. In other groups dominated by Gardnerella and Streptococcus, we found Gardnerella gradually reduced with severity from ASC-US to CIN2 and HSIL. Functional analysis from inferred metagenomes showed that the low evenness group was showing some pathways including DNA repair, recombination protein, DNA replication protein and DNA activity such as pyrimidine and amino sugar, nucleotide. Amino acid metabolism and biosynthesis were enriched in high evenness group.

Conclusion: According to our finding, we emphasized that the species evenness might play an important role in vaginal microbiota, potentially leading to shifts in functional pathways underlying the influence of vaginal diseases.

Significance and impact of the study: This study reveals that the ecological balance, especially species evenness, can shape the vaginal microbiota.