Semin Reprod Med 2014; 32(01): 050-055
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1361830
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Microbiome in Parturition and Preterm Birth

Indira U. Mysorekar
1  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
2  Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Bin Cao
1  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 January 2014 (online)


Preterm parturition is a one of the most significant global maternal-child health problem. In recent years, there has been an explosion in reports on a role for microbiomes (i.e., a microbial biomass) on a plethora of physiologic and pathologic human conditions. This review aims to describe our current understanding of the microbiome and its impact on parturition, with particular emphasis on preterm birth. We will focus on the roles of vaginal and oral mucosal microbiomes in premature parturition and describe the state-of-the-art methodologies used in microbiome studies. Next, we will present new studies on a potential microbiome in the placenta and how it may affect pregnancy outcomes. Finally, we will propose that host genetic factors can perturb the normal “pregnancy microbiome” and trigger adverse pregnancy outcomes.