Bacterial and cytokine mixtures predict the length of gestation and are associated with miRNA expression in the cervix.
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<p><strong>AIM: </strong>Bacterial vaginosis may lead to preterm birth through epigenetic programming of the inflammatory response, specifically via miRNA expression.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We quantified bacterial 16S rRNA, cytokine mRNA and 800 miRNA from cervical swabs obtained from 80 women at 16-19 weeks' gestation. We generated bacterial and cytokine indices using weighted quantile sum regression and examined associations with miRNA and gestational age at delivery.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS & DISCUSSION: </strong>Each decile of the bacterial and cytokine indices was associated with shorter gestations (p < 0.005). The bacterial index was associated with miR-494, 371a, 4286, 185, 320e, 888 and 23a (p < 0.05). miR-494 remained significant after false discovery rate correction (q < 0.1). The cytokine index was associated with 27 miRNAs (p < 0.05; q < 0.01).</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Future investigation into the role of bacterial vaginosis- and inflammation-associated miRNA and preterm birth is warranted.</p>