To examine whether there are differences in the vaginal microbiome of women who miscarry compared to those who have normal pregnancy outcomes.


Prospective observational study conducted at the Canberra Hospital, Australia, with 24 participant women in the first trimester of pregnancy. The vaginal microbiomes of the 24 women were characterized using sequencing analysis of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene employing an Illumina MiSeq instrument with QIAGEN reagents. Vaginal microbiome data were correlated with pregnancy clinical metadata.


Ordination plots showed differences in the composition of microbiomes of women who miscarried and controls. In nulliparous women, Lactobacillus crispatus was the dominant bacterium in 50% of women. Lactobacillus iners was the dominant bacterium in 50% of women with a history of prior miscarriage and a miscarriage in the study compared to 15% (p = 0.011) in those with no history of miscarriage and no miscarriage in the study. There were significant differences in the number of operational taxonomic units and the richness of the microbiomes of women who miscarried compared to those who delivered at term. Eight taxa were found in different relative abundances in both groups of women.


The study indicated that the composition of the vaginal microbiome varies with pregnancy history. Also, there was a significant difference in the vaginal microbiomes between women who suffered miscarriage and those who continued to term delivery both in the overall microbiome populations and in the abundances of individual taxa.


Bacterial diversity, Early pregnancy complications, Miscarriage, Vaginal microbiome

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Available for download on Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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