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Women’s reproductive organs abound with microorganisms—studying them helping in disease research

| | October 24, 2017

Women’s reproductive organs are home to plenty of microorganisms, and identifying them may help us improve women’s health.

Scientists have long known that the vagina is home to trillions of bacteria, but much less is known about the community of organisms inhabiting the rest of women’s reproductive tracts — from the uterus to the ovaries. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers in China identified the microorganisms found in six parts of the reproductive tracts of 110 women. The research can help scientists figure out what microbes and bacteria are found in healthy women, and which ones are associated with certain diseases.

[R]esearchers found that certain parts of the vagina were dominated by Lactobacillus bacteria, the same family of friendly bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt.

They also found that certain bacteria were associated with certain diseases. For instance, women with benign tumors in the uterus had more of the bacterium Lactobacillus iners in their cervical mucus than women who didn’t have the tumor.

[N]ext steps include determining how they interact with their host environment. Previous research into the microbiome in other areas of the body suggests the interactions between a person and their local bacteria can help regulate some bodily functions — and now it’s time to see if that’s true here, too.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Women’s reproductive organs are teeming with microorganisms

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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