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Article

The Dwindling Microbiota of Aerobic Vaginitis, an Inflammatory State Enriched in Pathobionts with Limited TLR Stimulation

1
Department of Bioscience Engineering, Research Group Environmental Ecology and Applied Microbiology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium
2
Femicare VZW, Clinical Research for Women, Gasthuismolenstraat 33, B-3300 Tienen, Belgium
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Antwerp, Wilrijkstraat 10, B-2650 Edegem, Belgium
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2020, 10(11), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110879
Received: 3 September 2020 / Revised: 16 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis of Genital Infections)
While bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a well-known type of vaginal dysbiosis, aerobic vaginitis (AV) is an inflammatory condition that remains understudied and under-recognised. It predisposes women to serious complications including urogenital infections and pregnancy problems. Here, we investigated the bacterial community in AV to explore its possible role in AV pathogenesis. We collected vaginal lavage fluid samples of women (n = 58) classified by wet-mount microscopy as suffering from AV or BV and included an asymptomatic reference group without signs of AV or BV. AV samples showed reduced absolute abundances of bacteria in general and specifically of lactobacilli by qPCR, but 16S rRNA gene sequencing and amplicon sequence variant analysis revealed that Lactobacillus remained the dominant taxon in 25% of the AV samples studied. The other AV samples showed high relative abundances of Streptococcus agalactiae and, unexpectedly, the anaerobes Gardnerella vaginalis and Prevotella bivia in more than half of the AV samples studied. Yet, despite increased relative abundance of these potential pathogens or pathobionts in the AV bacterial communities, the AV samples only slightly stimulated Toll-like receptor 4 and showed reduced activation of Toll-like receptor 2/6, receptors of two pathways central to mucosal immunity. Our findings indicate that the reduced total bacterial abundance with associated enrichment in certain pathobionts in AV might be mainly a consequence of the inflammatory conditions and/or altered hormonal regulation rather than bacteria being a major cause of the inflammation. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerobic vaginitis; vaginal microbiome; next-generation sequencing; amplicon sequence variants; qPCR; dysbiosis; vaginal lactobacilli; bacterial vaginosis; Toll-like receptor 4; Toll-like receptor 2/6 aerobic vaginitis; vaginal microbiome; next-generation sequencing; amplicon sequence variants; qPCR; dysbiosis; vaginal lactobacilli; bacterial vaginosis; Toll-like receptor 4; Toll-like receptor 2/6
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oerlemans, E.F.M.; Wuyts, S.; Bellen, G.; Wittouck, S.; De Boeck, I.; Ruban, K.; Allonsius, C.N.; van den Broek, M.F.L.; Donders, G.G.G.; Lebeer, S. The Dwindling Microbiota of Aerobic Vaginitis, an Inflammatory State Enriched in Pathobionts with Limited TLR Stimulation. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 879. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110879

AMA Style

Oerlemans EFM, Wuyts S, Bellen G, Wittouck S, De Boeck I, Ruban K, Allonsius CN, van den Broek MFL, Donders GGG, Lebeer S. The Dwindling Microbiota of Aerobic Vaginitis, an Inflammatory State Enriched in Pathobionts with Limited TLR Stimulation. Diagnostics. 2020; 10(11):879. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110879

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oerlemans, Eline F.M., Sander Wuyts, Gert Bellen, Stijn Wittouck, Ilke De Boeck, Kateryna Ruban, Camille N. Allonsius, Marianne F.L. van den Broek, Gilbert G.G. Donders, and Sarah Lebeer. 2020. "The Dwindling Microbiota of Aerobic Vaginitis, an Inflammatory State Enriched in Pathobionts with Limited TLR Stimulation" Diagnostics 10, no. 11: 879. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110879

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