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Diversity of vaginal microbiota in sub-Saharan Africa and its effects on HIV transmission and prevention.

Bayigga, Lois; Kateete, David P; Anderson, Deborah J; Sekikubo, Musa; Nakanjako, Damalie.
Am J Obstet Gynecol; 220(2): 155-166, 2019 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2019 | ID: mdl-30321529
Resumo: The vaginal microbial community ("microbiota") is a key component of the reproductive health of women, providing protection against urogenital infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, there is a high prevalence of bacterial vaginosis, a condition defined by bacterial overgrowth and a shift away from a Lactobacillus-dominated profile toward increased percentages of strict anaerobic species. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission, as well as an increased risk of acquiring other sexually transmitted infections, preterm births, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Vaginal microbiota, rich in taxa of strict anaerobic species, disrupts the mucosal epithelial barrier through secretion of metabolites and enzymes that mediate inflammation. Advancements in next-generation sequencing technologies such as whole-genome sequencing have led to deeper profiling of the vaginal microbiome and further study of its potential role in HIV pathogenesis and treatment. Until recently data on the composition of the vaginal microbiome in sub-Saharan Africa have been limited; however, a number of studies have been published that highlight the critical role of vaginal microbiota in disease and health in African women. This article reviews these recent findings and identifies gaps in knowledge about variations in female genital commensal bacteria that could provide vital information to improve the effectiveness of interventions to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In addition, we review the effects of pregnancy, contraception, and sexual practices on vaginal microbiome and the potential of vaginal microbiota on HIV transmission and prevention. A better understanding of the role of vaginal microbiota in host susceptibility to HIV infection and its prevention among African women could inform the development of novel local and systemic interventions to minimize new HIV infections among high-risk women.