Systematic Comparison of Bacterial Colonization of Endometrial Tissue and Fluid Samples in Recurrent Miscarriage Patients: Implications for Future Endometrial Microbiome Studies

  • Yingyu Liu, Karen Ka-Wing Wong, Elaine Yee-Ling Ko, Xiaoyan Chen, Jin Huang, Stephen Kwok-Wing Tsui, Tin Chiu Li, Stephen Siu-Chung Chim
  • Clinical Chemistry, September 2018, AACC
  • DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2018.289306

Endometrial tissue and fluid harbor different bacteria

What is it about?

The microbiota in the endometrial fluid of patients receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment has been shown to be useful for predicting pregnancy rates, but whether it reflects the microbiota in the endometrial tissue remains obscure. To address this, we profiled simultaneously the microbiotas in the endometrial fluid and biopsy samples of IVF patients using massively parallel sequencing. We identified bacterial taxa that were consistently detected only in endometrial biopsies but not in fluid samples, and taxa that were differentially abundant between these two sample types. Profiling both fluid and biopsy samples will reveal a more comprehensive view of the endometrial microbiome.

Why is it important?

Our data suggest that microbiota in the endometrial fluid does not fully reflect that in endometrial tissue. Sampling from both endometrial fluid and biopsy allows a more comprehensive view of microbial colonization.


Stephen Chim
Chinese University of Hong Kong

In the near future, one can envisage that endometrial microbiome analysis will be performed in studies of patient cohorts with clinical relevance, e.g. in women with and without chronic endometritis, and in women who benefit or do not benefit from IVF treatment. Further efforts are needed to identify the preanalytical effects, including sampling sites, methods and sequencing depth, on profiling endometrial microbiota. It is hoped that when a consensus is reached, research in this field will become more streamlined and data will be more readily compared.

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The following have contributed to this page: Stephen Chim and Yingyu Liu