In vivo microbiome and associated immune markers: New insights into the pathogenesis of vaginal dysbiosis

Giuseppina Campisciano, Nunzia Zanotta, Danilo Licastro, Francesco De Seta, Manola Comar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The microbiota fulfils a key role in the training and function of the immune system, which contributes to the symbiosis between the host and complex microbial communities. In this study, we characterized the interplay between vaginal bacteria and local immune mediators during dysbiosis in selected women of reproductive age who were grouped according to Nugent's criteria. The abundance of Gardnerella vaginalis and Bifidobacterium breve was increased in the intermediate dysbiotic status, while the presence of a plethora of non-resident bacteria characterized the group with overt vaginosis. In response to these increases, the anti-inflammatory IL1ra and pro-inflammatory IL2 increased, while the embryo trophic factors FGFβ and GMCSF decreased compared to the healthy milieu. A specific pattern, including IL1α, IL1β, IL8, MIG, MIP1α and RANTES, distinguished the intermediate group from the vaginosis group, while IL5 and IL13, which are secreted by Th2 cells, were significantly associated with the perturbation of the commensals Lactobacilli, Gardnerella and Ureaplasma. Summarizing, we postulate that although the dysbiotic condition triggers a pro-inflammatory process, the presence of a steady state level of Th2 may influence clinical manifestations. These results raise clinically relevant questions regarding the use of vaginal immunological markers as efficacious tools to monitor microbial alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2307
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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