A non-optimal cervicovaginal microbiota in pregnancy is associated with a distinct metabolomic signature among non-Hispanic Black individuals
Biomechanical and molecular processes of premature cervical remodeling preceding spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) likely result from interactions between the cervicovaginal microbiota and host immune responses. A non-optimal cervicovaginal microbiota confers increased risk of sPTB. The cervicovaginal space is metabolically active in pregancy; microbiota can produce, modify, and degrade metabolites within this ecosystem. We establish that cervicovaginal metabolomic output clusters by microbial community in pregnancy among Black individuals, revealing increased metabolism within the amino acid and dipeptide pathways as hallmarks of a non-optimal microbiota. Few differences were detected in metabolomic profiles when stratified by birth outcome. The study raises the possibility that metabolites could distinguish women with greater risk of sPTB among those with similar cervicovaginal microbiota, and that metabolites within the amino acid and carbohydrate pathways may play a role in this distinction.
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