Costa de Freitas, Aline
The complex microbial community present in the female lower genital tract is an important factor in women's reproductive health. Imbalances in this microbiota can lead to increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, bacterial vaginoisis, and negative outcomes such a preterm birth. However, our understanding of the causes of such variations is limited and the vaginal microbiota remains poorly characterized.
My research project is focused on determining if characteristic vaginal microbiome profiles are associated with pregnant women at low and high risk for preterm birth. The vaginal microbiota of pregnant women will be characterized using a combination of conventional microbiology and culture independent methods involving high throughput pryosequencing. Our goal is a better understanding of the relationship of the vaginal microbiome to women's health in pregnancy.