Vaginal Microbiome and Immunity

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE


Mammalian mucosal niches are colonized by a complex ecosystem of viruses, bacteria and fungi termed the microbiome. Unlike the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome is composed of small number of bacterial species and is consistently found in people around the world. The bacterial communities fall into lactobacilli-dominant, low diversity communities and lactobacilli-low high diversity communities. In contrast to other mucosal niches, high-diversity communities are associated with increased acquisition of sexually transmitted infections and poor pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth. Determining the contribution of the microbiome to mucosal immunity is critical to designing new therapeutics and vaccine techniques. We will discuss the prime and pull vaccine technique, which leverages a commonly-used antibiotic increase antiviral immunity at the vaginal mucosa.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the vaginal microbiome and bacterial communities.

2. Identify the main differences between the intestinal and vaginal microbiome. 

3. Describe the mechanics of the prime and pull vaccine.

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