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The oral microbiome and adverse pregnancy outcomes

Authors Cobb CM, Kelly PJ, Williams KB, Babbar S, Angolkar M, Derman RJ

Received 27 May 2017

Accepted for publication 16 June 2017

Published 8 August 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 551—559


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Charles M Cobb,1 Patricia J Kelly,2 Karen B Williams,3 Shilpa Babbar,4 Mubashir Angolkar,5 Richard J Derman6

1Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, 2Department of Public Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Health Studies, 3Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, 4Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health, Division of Maternal & Fetal Medicine, School of Medicine, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA; 5Department of Public Health, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), KLE University, Karnataka, India; 6Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: Significant evidence supports an association between periodontal pathogenic bacteria and preterm birth and preeclampsia. The virulence properties assigned to specific oral pathogenic bacteria, for example, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Filifactor alocis, Campylobacter rectus, and others, render them as potential collaborators in adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Several pathways have been suggested for this association: 1) hematogenous spread (bacteremia) of periodontal pathogens; 2) hematogenous spread of multiple mediators of inflammation that are generated by the host and/or fetal immune response to pathogenic bacteria; and 3) the possibility of oral microbial pathogen transmission, with subsequent colonization, in the vaginal microbiome resulting from sexual practices. As periodontal disease is, for the most part, preventable, the medical and dental public health communities can address intervention strategies to control oral inflammatory disease, lessen the systemic inflammatory burden, and ultimately reduce the potential for adverse pregnancy outcomes. This article reviews the oral, vaginal, and placental microbiomes, considers their potential impact on preterm labor, and the future research needed to confirm or refute this relationship.

Keywords: periodontal disease, preterm labor, oral microbiome, vaginal microbiome, bacteria, pregnancy, infant, premature birth, low birth weight

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