Open Access

Characteristics of the Cervicovaginal Microenvironment in Childbearing-Age Women with Different Degrees of Cervical Lesions and HR-HPV Positivity


Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is the most important determinate in the development of cervical cancer, and cervical microecology can modulate cervical viral infection. However, few studies have been conducted on the microecological analysis of cervical diseases using strict physiological factors. This study investigated the characteristics and dynamics of cervical microecology in childbearing-age Chinese women with different degrees of HR-HPV-positive cervical lesions. A total of 168 subjects were selected according to the selection criteria, including healthy HPV-negative individuals (n = 29), HR-HPV-infected individuals (n = 29), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion individuals (LSIL, n = 32), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion individuals (HSIL, n = 40), and cervical cancer individuals (n = 38). We sampled cervical secretions from each subject and performed comparative analysis using the 16S rRNA sequencing method. Comparison analysis showed that Lactobacillus and Ignatzschineria were the dominant genera in the healthy group, while Gardnerella and Prevotella were more enriched in the disease groups. Based on the taxa composition, we roughly divided the development of cervical cancer into two phases: phase I was from healthy status to HR-HPV infection and LSIL; phase II was from LSIL to HSIL and cervical cancer. Different interactions among different genera were observed in different groups. Prevotella inhibited the abundance of Lactobacillus in the healthy group, while Prevotella inhabited the abundance of Gardnerella in the other groups. In the HR-HPV infection group, Ignatzschineria and Enterococcus showed a positive interaction but dissociated with the increase in cervical lesions, which might eventually lead to a continuous decrease in the abundances of Lactobacillus and Ignatzschineria.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology