The microbiome is the microorganism present in certain parts of the body. The gastrointestinal tract is also found in the oral cavity, the lungs, the skin, genitourinary tract, and inside the placenta and amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
The recent years have seen the importance of the microbiome in the regulation of immune function, apparent behavior in humans and the regulation of metabolism. As a result of the recent advancement, it is now clear that placenta is not a sterile organ and it is composed of the endogenous microbiome. The internal composition of microbiomes is very different from that of a vagina. It has been further reported that it has more composition similarity with the oral microbiome.
If we compare the placental microbiome from the microbiome present in the gut, we will find that it relatively exhibits limited diversity of microbes. The investigations would also cover the functioning and understanding of microbiome in healthy and pregnancy.
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The composition of a microbiome is primarily dependent on the site of its body. It also relies on the host-dependent factors, such as the host’s dietary intake, genetic makeup, geographic location, disease state and the presence of bacterial species. For the microbiota in the gut, there is a great intra- and inter-individual variety. However, the microbiota of a healthy gut is composed of bacteria belonging to the phylum, Bacteroidetesand Firmicutes. A sudden composition of micro biodata is termed as dysbiosis.
A dysbiosis that occurs in the microbiota of the gut has been associated with a range of diseases, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and obesity.
During the pregnancy, the microbiota of the gut is altered by the progression of pregnancy. During the onset of pregnancy, in the first trimester, the microbiota of the gut resembles the microbiota out of the pregnancy. When the second trimester starts, there is an influx of bacteria belonging to a specific genera. This is then associated with physiological parameters inside the mother, the increase of Collinsellahas positive correlation with the levels of insulin. The abundance of Odoribacter, on the contrary, has a negative correlation with blood pressure. During the third trimester, the intra-individual diversity falls, which results in the increase of bacteria that belong to pro-inflammatory Proteobacteriaphylum. Different species decrease in number in different women as the third-trimester starts, which increases the inter-individual diversity.
During an experiment micro biodata from a gut sample of pregnant women on their trimester was taken. The samples were then transfected into a murine model, the mice were observed to gain weight and become insulin resistant. This shows that during the pregnancy the microbiota of gut significantly contributes to metabolic changes in another.
It is intriguing to find so much similarity between the placental and oral microbiome. Investigators who are working on models of murine have reported the similarities between communities of the microbiome and two spatially distinct niches. It is postulated that the placental microbiome is established through hematogenous spread.
The sterile Environmental Paradigm shift in Utero-placenta
The idea that the utero-environmental placenta in humans is sterile, was accepted for over a century. Even today, there are some conflicting controversies about the colonization of microbes in the placenta. A recent study showed the placenta of humans does not host microbes and writers behind this research are convinced the bacteria found in the placenta is due to the contamination of already used laboratory reagents with bacterial DNA during delivery and labour. The successful generation of animals that have remained germ-free also seemingly support this view. However, it can not be denied that there has been evidence that the environment provided to the fetus is anything but sterile.
Olaniyi, K. S., &Olaniyi, K. S. (2020, August 12). Placental Microbial Colonization and Its Association With Pre-eclampsia. Frontier in cellular and infection Microbiology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2020.00413/full
Pelzer, E.,. (2017). Maternal health and the placental microbiome. Placenta, 54(1), 30-37. https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_428630/UQ428630_OA.pdf?Expires=1607517442&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJKNBJ4MJBJNC6NLQ&Signature=fWH~ht7jSIDXqAEj23ZTxHV4MeDuBatE7gEb–0QY1SDevqN~5kXfOK29gDpCZiw0od2ExvyYtm2xk~6SktfAABwVMkJDUZDe0QGHLrwcwf9t0wy6jYwQerspNsqjDvGYm