Journal article

Sexual practices have a significant impact on the vaginal microbiota of women who have sex with women

Erica L Plummer, Lenka A Vodstrcil, Christopher K Fairley, Sepehr N Tabrizi, Suzanne M Garland, Matthew G Law, Jane S Hocking, Katherine A Fethers, Dieter M Bulach, Gerald L Murray, Catriona S Bradshaw

Scientific Reports | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2019

Abstract

Women-who-have-sex-with-women (WSW) are at increased risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV). We investigated the impact of practices and past BV on the vaginal microbiota within a two-year longitudinal cohort of Australian WSW. Self-collected vaginal swabs were used to characterise the vaginal microbiota using 16S-rRNA gene sequencing. Hierarchical clustering defined community state types (CSTs). Bacterial diversity was calculated using the Shannon diversity index and instability of the vaginal microbiota was assessed by change of CST and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. Sex with a new partner increased the bacterial diversity (adjusted-coefficient = 0.41, 95%CI: 0.21,0.60, p < 0.001) and instability of..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council


Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Program


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant (1020457) awarded to CSB and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Program (1071269) awarded to S.M.G., C.K.F. and M.G.L. E.L.P. was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. The authors thank Glenda Fehler, Susan Peterson, Dr. Marcus Chen, Dr. Sandra Walker, Dr. Jade Bilardi, and Clare Bellhouse for their contributions to the original WOW Cohort study, from which this microbiota sub-study arose. The authors thank Dr. Jimmy Twin for contributions to the laboratory work.