Xu Chen and his research team published online in Scientific Reports with their latest achievements

  A few days ago , the latest achievements of Xu Chen and his research team from key laboratory of reproductive medicine were published online in the international academic journal Scientific Reports , with the title of ‘Effects of low dose estrogen therapy on the vaginal microbiomes of women with atrophic vaginitis’ .The study reveals that the vagina Gardner bacteria (Gardnerella) and exotic bacteria overgrowth (Atopobium) are associated with atrophic vaginitis disease after menopause . While lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus) plays a useful role in maintaining postmenopausal vaginal health status . The research results will lay solid foundation for postmenopausal women protection measures to prevent atrophic vaginitis .

  The atrophic vaginitis is due to peripheral levels of estrogen in women and reduces secondary vaginal epithelial atrophy as a result of common diseases . In the world , about 25% to 50% in postmenopausal women get atrophic vaginitis . Female vagina symbiotic microbes orderly engraftment in mucosal epithelium, constitute the community structure of biofilm samples , which serves as an effective biological barriers , and they can prevent external pathogenic bacteria adhesion and engraftment of limits of various conditions like the excessive growth of pathogenic bacteria . Moreover , it assists in maintaining the balance of the genital tract micro ecological environment so that it plays a very important role in this process . When this balance is broken , the body‘s health would be threatened. Previous studies have found that when there is imbalance or damaging the vagina micro ecological condition , patients are suffering from bacterial vaginal disease , mould sex vaginitis , gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of HIV invasion increased significantly . So far , within the scope of the vagina micro ecological research , the world has focused on childbearing age women , with more studies in which postmenopausal women are numbered , and they are combined with previous studies sample of which size is small , so the amount of information is extremely limited .

  The first author , Shen Jian adopted such methods as the second generation of high-throughput sequencing technologies ( Illumina sequencing ) , and he used online Ribosomal Database ( Ribosomal Database Project , RDP 2.5 ) of Bayesian Classifier ( Naive Bayesian Classifier ) than to confirm the symbiotic type microbial groups of species ( phylotype ) , and then by the Hierarchical clustering method ( Hierarchical clustering ) , Shannon diversity index , ( Shannon’m index ) and equilibrium degree ( equitability ) analysis and a series of modern molecular microecological big data analysis method . He found that postmenopausal vaginal lactobacilli does not reduce or disappear , but it is still widely and dense consist in the vagina , which constitutes the main part of microbial communities , and affects the structure and function of microbial communities . As a whole , it plays a protective role . Postmenopausal women have normal vaginal microbial community structure and a significant difference was found in patients with atrophic vaginitis . Among them , Gardner bacteria ( Gardnerella ) and exotic bacteria ( Atopobium ) and the severity of the postmenopausal vaginal atrophy symptoms are closely related . For postmenopausal women , a biological advantage position of lactobacilli can play a more important role in maintaining vaginal health . After giving small doses of estrogen therapy , lactobacillus increased significantly , The vaginal microbial community biodiversity decreases , while patients with vaginal community structure into levels are close to normal women . The research reveals the risk factors of atrophic vaginitis , for the prevention of vaginal microbiome as potential therapeutic targets that laid a foundation .

  The corresponding author of this research article , professor Xu Chen , pointed out that in recent years , along with the continuously advance the human microbiome project , as well as the rapid development of molecular ecology technology , the relationship between gut microbes and disease research results remarkable. Genital tract microbial research , by contrast , are very few . Recently , professor Xu Chen and his research team , are working with clinical departments from Shanghai first people‘s hospital affiliated to shanghai jiao tong university school of medicine and Shanghai ninth people’s hospital affiliated to shanghai jiao tong university school of medicine in close cooperation . They mainly focus on the male reproductive tract microbial groups with chronic prostatitis , and the relationship between female uterus microbial groups and the relationship between the clinical pregnancy outcome and its mechanism , are explored with new diagnosis and treatment measures .

  The study received huge supports from the institute of medicine of the university of Idaho biology and bioinformatics . The work is also supported and sponsored by the national institutes of health ( NIH ) research funds , the national natural science funds and health and family planning commission of Shanghai clinical major projects such as a number of project fundings .

  The online link for this research article is : http://www.nature.com/articles/srep24380