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Prospective observational study of vaginal microbiota pre‐ and post‐rescue cervical cerclage

Brown, R. G.; Chan, D.; Terzidou, V.; Lee, Y. S.; Smith, Ann; Marchesi, J. R.; MacIntyre, D. A.; Bennett, P. R.


R. G. Brown

D. Chan

V. Terzidou

Y. S. Lee

Ann Smith

J. R. Marchesi

D. A. MacIntyre

P. R. Bennett


Objective: To investigate the relation between vaginal microbiota composition and outcome of rescue cervical cerclage. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, London. Population: Twenty singleton pregnancies undergoing a rescue cervical cerclage. Methods: Vaginal microbiota composition was analysed in women presenting with a dilated cervix and exposed fetal membranes before and 10days following rescue cervical cerclage and was correlated with clinical outcomes. Main outcome measures: Composition of vaginal bacteria was characterised by culture-independent next generation sequencing. Successful cerclage was defined as that resulting in the birth of a neonate discharged from hospital without morbidity. Unsuccessful cerclage was defined as procedures culminating in miscarriage, intrauterine death, neonatal death or significant neonatal morbidity. Results: Reduced Lactobacillus spp. relative abundance was observed in 40% of cases prior to rescue cerclage compared with 10% of gestation age-matched controls (8/20, 40% versus 3/30, 10%, P=0.017). Gardnerella vaginalis was over-represented in women presenting with symptoms (3/7, 43% versus 0/13, 0%, P=0.03, linear discriminant analysis, LDA (log 10) and cases culminating in miscarriage (3/6, 50% versus 0/14, 0%, P=0.017). In the majority of cases (10/14, 71%) bacterial composition was unchanged following cerclage insertion and perioperative interventions. Conclusions: Reduced relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. is associated with premature cervical dilation, whereas high levels of G.vaginalis are associated with unsuccessful rescue cerclage cases. The insertion of a rescue cerclage does not affect the underlying bacterial composition in the majority of cases. Tweetable abstract: Preterm cervical dilatation associates with reduced Lactobacillus spp. Presence of Gardnerella vaginalis predicts rescue cerclage failure.


Terzidou, V., Brown, R. G., Chan, D., Lee, Y. S., Smith, A., Marchesi, J. R., …Bennett, P. R. (2019). Prospective observational study of vaginal microbiota pre‐ and post‐rescue cervical cerclage. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 126(7), 916-925.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 2, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2019
Journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Print ISSN 1470-0328
Electronic ISSN 1471-0528
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 126
Issue 7
Pages 916-925
Keywords Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Public URL
Publisher URL


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