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Analysis of the cervical microbiome in women from the German national cervical cancer screening program

  • PURPOSE Cervical cancer (CC) is caused by a persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection. The cervico-vaginal microbiome may influence the development of (pre)cancer lesions. Aim of the study was (i) to evaluate the new CC screening program in Germany for the detection of high-grade CC precursor lesions, and (ii) to elucidate the role of the cervico-vaginal microbiome and its potential impact on cervical dysplasia. METHODS The microbiome of 310 patients referred to colposcopy was determined by amplicon sequencing and correlated with clinicopathological parameters. RESULTS Most patients were referred for colposcopy due to a positive hrHPV result in two consecutive years combined with a normal PAP smear. In 2.1% of these cases, a CIN III lesion was detected. There was a significant positive association between the PAP stage and Lactobacillus vaginalis colonization and between the severity of CC precursor lesions and Ureaplasma parvum. CONCLUSION In our cohort, the new cervical cancer screening program resulted in a low rate of additional CIN III detected. It is questionable whether these cases were only identified earlier with additional HPV testing before the appearance of cytological abnormalities, or the new screening program will truly increase the detection rate of CIN III in the long run. Colonization with U. parvum was associated with histological dysplastic lesions. Whether targeted therapy of this pathogen or optimization of the microbiome prevents dysplasia remains speculative.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Mateja Condic, Claudio Neidhöfer, Damian J. Ralser, Nina Wetzig, Ralf Thiele, Martin Sieber, Lucia A. Otten, Leonie K. Warwas, Achim Hoerauf, Alexander Mustea, Marijo Parčina
Parent Title (English):Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
First Page:6489
Last Page:6500
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2023/02/13
Copyright:© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Funding:Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Keyword:Cervical cancer screening; Cervicovaginal microbiome; Colposcopy; HPV diagnostic
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Informatik
Fachbereich Angewandte Naturwissenschaften
Institut für funktionale Gen-Analytik (IFGA)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Entry in this database:2023/03/02
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International