Relationship between vitamin D status and the vaginal microbiome during pregnancy

Kimberly K. Jefferson, Hardik I. Parikh, Erin M. Garcia, David J. Edwards, Myrna G. Serrano, Martin Hewison, Judith R. Shary, Anna M. Powell, Bruce W. Hollis, Jennifer M. Fettweis, Jerome F. Strauss, Gregory A. Buck, Carol L. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Evidence supports an inverse association between vitamin D and bacterial vaginosis (BV) during pregnancy. Furthermore, both the vaginal microbiome and vitamin D status correlate with pregnancy outcome. Women of African ancestry are more likely to experience BV, to be vitamin D deficient, and to have certain pregnancy complications. We investigated the association between vitamin D status and the vaginal microbiome. Study design: Subjects were assigned to a treatment (4400 IU) or a control group (400 IU vitamin D daily), sampled three times during pregnancy, and vaginal 16S rRNA gene taxonomic profiles and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations were examined. Result: Gestational age and ethnicity were significantly associated with the microbiome. Megasphaera correlated negatively (p = 0.0187) with 25(OH)D among women of African ancestry. Among controls, women of European ancestry exhibited a positive correlation between plasma 25(OH)D and L. crispatus abundance. Conclusion: Certain vaginal bacteria are associated with plasma 25(OH)D concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-836
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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