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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 1/2018

The dynamics of vaginal and rectal Lactobacillus spp. flora in subsequent trimesters of pregnancy in healthy Polish women, assessed using the Sanger sequencing method

Zeitschrift:
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Anna Dobrut, Tomasz Gosiewski, Wojciech Pabian, Malgorzata Bodaszewska-Lubas, Dorota Ochonska, Małgorzata Bulanda, Monika Brzychczy-Wloch

Abstract

Background

Lactobacilli play an important role in maintaining vaginal health and protection against bacterial infections in the genital tract. The aim of this study is to show the dynamics of changes of the vaginal and rectal Lactobacillus flora during pregnancy by using the Sanger sequencing method.

Method

The study included 31 healthy pregnant women without clinical signs of genitourinary infections. The material was taken in the three trimesters of pregnancy by vaginal and rectal swabs and grown on the MRS agar quantitatively to estimate the number of Lactobacillus spp. [CFU/ml]. Afterwards, 3 to 8 morphologically different lactobacilli colonies were taken for identification. Bacterial species identification was performed by 16 s rDNA sequence fragment analyses using the Sanger method.

Results

Among the patients tested, the most common species colonizing the vagina in the first trimester were: L. crispatus 29%, L. gasseri 19.4% and L. rhamnosus 16.1%, in the second trimester: L. crispatus 51.6%, L. gasseri 25.8%, L. rhamnosus 19.4% and L. amylovorus 16.1%, and in the third trimester the most common Lactobacillus species were: L. crispatus 25.8%, L. gasseri 25.8% and L. johnsonii 19.4%. In rectal species, the number decreased in the second and third trimesters in comparison to the first trimester (p = 0.003). An analysis of rectal dynamics showed that in the first trimester, the most common species were: L. johnsonii 19.4%, and L. plantarum 9.7%, in the second trimester: L. crispatus 9.7% and L. mucosae 6.5%, and in the third trimester: L. casei 9.7% and L. rhamnosus 9.7%. Individual dynamics of the Lactobacillus species composition showed variability, characterized by continuous, intermittent, or periodic colonization. The patients examined were mostly colonized by three Lactobacillus species in vagina (32.3%), whereas for the rectum, one Lactobacillus species during the whole pregnancy duration was common (32.3%).

Conclusion

This study showed that in the examined group of healthy, pregnant Polish women, the vaginal Lactobacillus flora, both qualitative and quantitative, was stable during the three subsequent trimesters. In contrast, the number of rectal Lactobacillus species dramatically decreased after the first trimester.
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