The Effect of Oral Bacteria on Vaginal Microbiome
- Bacteria are normally present in healthy vaginas.
- Imbalances of the various types of bacteria in the vagina can lead to an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV).
- Women with BV are more likely to be populated by possible pathogens which includes Fusobacterium nucleatum.
- Fusobacterium nucleatum is an oral commensal pathogen linked with a wide range of human diseases.
- Fusobacterium nucleatum plays a role in periodontal disease and also linked with intrauterine infection and preterm birth.
- However, the conditions and mechanisms supporting pathogen colonization during microbial imbalances of the vagina remain unclear.
- Sialidases are group of enzymes which mainly catalyses the splitting of terminal sialic acids from complex carbohydrates on glycoproteins or glycolipids.
- The study demonstrates that sialidase activity promoted F. nucleatum food obtaining and growth on mammalian sialoglycans.
- Sialoglycans is a nutrient resource that was otherwise not accessible because of the lack of endogenous F. nucleatum sialidase.
- In mice with sialidase-producing vaginal microbes, mutant F. nucleatum unable to consume sialic acids was weakened in vaginal colonization.
- The experiments in mice also discovered that F. nucleatum may also help back to the community by fortifying sialidase activity which is a biochemical feature of human dysbiosis.
- Using human vaginal microbiome, the study show that F. nucleatum assisted strong outgrowth of Gardnerella vaginalis.
- Gardnerella vaginalis is a major sialidase producer and one of the most plentiful organisms in BV.
- The results explain that mutually beneficial relationships between vaginal bacteria support pathogen colonization and may help maintain features of microbial imbalances.
- The findings challenge the dogma that the absence of healthy lactobacilli is the sole mechanism that creates an allowable environment for pathogens during microbial imbalances of the vagina.
- Given that F. nucleatum are common in the human mouth, the study also suggests a possible mechanism underlying links between microbial imbalances of the vagina and oral sex.
Agarwal K, Robinson LS, Aggarwal S, Foster LR, Hernandez-Leyva A, Lin H, et al. (2020) Glycan cross-feeding supports mutualism between Fusobacterium and the vaginal microbiota. PLoS Biol 18(8): e3000788. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000788
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Post-translational Modifications in Oral Bacteria and Their Functional Impact. Ma Q, Zhang Q, Chen Y, Yu S, Huang J, Liu Y, Gong T, Li Y, Zou J.
Oral bacteria affect the gut microbiome and intestinal immunity. Kobayashi R, Ogawa Y, Hashizume-Takizawa T, Kurita-Ochiai T.