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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27741-27748;

Metabolite Profile of Cervicovaginal Fluids from Early Pregnancy Is Not Predictive of Spontaneous Preterm Birth

Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, 85 Park Road, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland 0632, New Zealand
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, 3a Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
The Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research, University College Cork, Wilton 06897, Cork, Ireland
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland, 2 Park Road, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alejandro Cifuentes and David Arráez-Román
Received: 23 May 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prediction, Diagnostics and Prevention of Pregnancy Complications)
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In our study, we used a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to search for biomarkers that may act as early indicators of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB). Samples were selected as a nested case-control study from the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) biobank in Auckland, New Zealand. Cervicovaginal swabs were collected at 20 weeks from women who were originally assessed as being at low risk of sPTB. Samples were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Despite the low amount of biomass (16–23 mg), 112 compounds were detected. Statistical analysis showed no significant correlations with sPTB. Comparison of reported infection and plasma inflammatory markers from early pregnancy showed two inflammatory markers were correlated with reported infection, but no correlation with any compounds in the metabolite profile was observed. We hypothesise that the lack of biomarkers of sPTB in the cervicovaginal fluid metabolome is simply because it lacks such markers in early pregnancy. We propose alternative biofluids be investigated for markers of sPTB. Our results lead us to call for greater scrutiny of previously published metabolomic data relating to biomarkers of sPTB in cervicovaginal fluids, as the use of small, high risk, or late pregnancy cohorts may identify metabolite biomarkers that are irrelevant for predicting risk in normal populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; cervicovaginal; biomarkers; spontaneous preterm birth metabolomics; cervicovaginal; biomarkers; spontaneous preterm birth

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Thomas, M.M.; Sulek, K.; McKenzie, E.J.; Jones, B.; Han, T.-L.; Villas-Boas, S.G.; Kenny, L.C.; McCowan, L.M.E.; Baker, P.N. Metabolite Profile of Cervicovaginal Fluids from Early Pregnancy Is Not Predictive of Spontaneous Preterm Birth. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 27741-27748.

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