December 16, 2019

Hanna L. Berman (North Carolina State University)

Exploring connections between ​Gardnerella vaginalis​ diversity and preterm birth

Fall 2019 Graduate Student Award in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms

The complex microbial communities, or microbiomes, inhabiting various body-sites can impact human health. For example, the vaginal microbiome has been associated with preterm birth. One species of bacteria, ​Gardnerella vaginalis​, has been associated with preterm birth in predominantly Caucasian cohorts, but not among African American women. ​G. vaginalis exhibits a vast evolutionary diversity and sub-species variants may contribute differently to host health outcomes. We will assess whether one sub-species variant, which may be more prevalent among African American women, reduces the apparent association between ​G. vaginalis ​and preterm birth.