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. 


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


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.


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


Raquel Ruiz-Arroyo