Vaginal Microbiome: Key Factors In Sample Collection

Vaginal Microbiome: Key Factors In Sample Collection

More and more studies are known that reveal the close relationship between the composition of the intestinal microbiome and certain pathologies as diverse as allergies, obesity or mental illness. Is it to be expected then that other sets of microbiomes present in the body can influence the development or prevention of some diseases?

In this regard, one of the areas with the highest expectations in this field of microbiological research is undoubtedly the vaginal microbiome .

In this entry we will summarize the importance of the vaginal microbiome in the correct functioning of the organism, and we will analyze one of the most critical factors when carrying out a study of this microbial community: the correct collection and stabilization of the samples .

Vaginal Microbiome

The microorganisms that inhabit the vaginal cavity represent a first line of defense in the female reproductive tract against the invasion of pathogenic organisms, mainly through three mechanisms:

  • Adhesion to the vaginal epithelium, thus avoiding colonization by pathogens.
  • Production of antimicrobial compounds.
  • Co-aggregation with pathogens, improving its microbiocidal effect.

The major microorganism in the composition of the vaginal microbiome is Lactobacillus spp ., And there is evidence that when it is found in deficit amounts, the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, HPV, etc.), preterm delivery increases. term, spontaneous abortion, bacterial vaginosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, among others.

But although the protective role played by the vaginal microbiota as a whole is known, there is still much to investigate to establish the conditions that define a healthy vaginal microbiome, its possible links with certain pathological states and its potential manipulation for therapeutic purposes.

Vaginal Microbiome: Key Factors In Sample Collection

One of the main challenges when carrying out a vaginal microbiome study is the collection and preservation of stable samples . Especially in those cases in which the samples cannot be processed immediately, ensuring that the composition of the microbiome in the sample remains stable until the moment of its analysis is of vital importance.

The characteristics that a good vaginal microbiome sample collection system must have can be summarized as:

  • Ease of collection, allowing the patient himself to take the sample.
  • It allows to keep the sample stable, reproducing a snapshot of the microbial profile at the time of collection.
  • Maintaining the integrity of both DNA and RNA in the sample at room temperature for at least 30 days.
  • Compatible with routine molecular applications.

In order to combine all these characteristics in a single device, the Canadian company DNA Genotek has developed the OMNIgene · VAGINAL kit . This device is validated for the collection and stabilization of DNA and microbial RNA for the study of the vaginal microbiome . Some of its most relevant advantages are:

  • Collection of DNA and RNA from a single vaginal sample.
  • Minimizes bacterial overgrowth and nucleic acid degradation.
  • Eliminates costs associated with temperature controlled storage and shipping.
  • Minimize noise in data analysis with a reliable microbiota profile.