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Relationship between vitamin D status and the vaginal microbiome during pregnancy.

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PubMed ID: 30858609

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Jefferson KK, Parikh HI, Garcia EM, Edwards DJ, Serrano MG, Hewison M, Shary JR, Powell AM, Hollis BW, Fettweis JM, Strauss Iii JF, Buck GA, Wagner CL

J Perinatol. Mar 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0343-8

COMMENT: The authors investigate if plasma 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with the vaginal microbiome. They analyze vaginal 16S rRNA gene taxonomic profiles and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations of pregnant women enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation. 

OBJECTIVE:

(...) we analyzed a cohort of 230 healthy women and investigated the relationship between plasma 25(OH)D concentrations, the vaginal microbiome, and preterm birth. 

MAIN RESULTS:

Women of European ancestry and Hispanic women in the control group exhibited a significant increase in 25(OH)D but women of African ancestry in the control group did not. All ethnic groups in the treatment group displayed a significant increase in 25(OH)D over the three time points.

Among samples from women with >40 ng/mL 25(OH) D, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, and Bifidobacterium species were more abundant (...). Among samples from women with <30 ng/mL 25(OH)D, G. vaginalis, BVAB1, TM7_OTU_H1, Prevotella, BVAB1, and Sneathia were more abundant. 

(...) among women of African ancestry, there was a negative correlation between 25(OH)D and abundance of Megasphaera spp.  

Among women of European ancestry, a significant interaction between L. crispatus and treatment (p = 0.0123) was observed and suggests that the association of L. crispatus with 25(OH)D depends on treatment/control. In particular, among women of European ancestry in the control group, but not the treatment group, total circulating 25(OH)D concentrations correlated positively with abundance of L. crispatus.

CONCLUSION: 

Certain vaginal bacteria are associated with plasma 25(OH)D concentration. 

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Raquel Ruiz-Arroyo