Assessment of microbiota:host interactions at the vaginal mucosa interface

Pamela Pruski, Holly V. Lewis, Yun S. Lee, Julian R. Marchesi, Phillip R. Bennett, Zoltan Takats, David A. MacIntyre*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


There is increasing appreciation of the role that vaginal microbiota play in health and disease throughout a woman's lifespan. This has been driven partly by molecular techniques that enable detailed identification and characterisation of microbial community structures. However, these methods do not enable assessment of the biochemical and immunological interactions between host and vaginal microbiota involved in pathophysiology. This review examines our current knowledge of the relationships that exist between vaginal microbiota and the host at the level of the vaginal mucosal interface. We also consider methodological approaches to microbiomic, immunologic and metabolic profiling that permit assessment of these interactions. Integration of information derived from these platforms brings the potential for biomarker discovery, disease risk stratification and improved understanding of the mechanisms regulating vaginal microbial community dynamics in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalMethods: A Companion to Methods in Enzymology
StatePublished - 01 10 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Ambient ionisation
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome
  • Mucosa
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Point-of-care diagnostics
  • Vagina


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