Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Gregory Buck, PhD


The vaginal microbiome is associated with women’s health, including but not limited to the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis, adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth and sexually transmitted infections. However, there has been very limited research on the urinary microbiome and its relationship to the vaginal microbiome. We sought to predict the vaginal microbiome profile using clean catch urine samples from the same person. Here, paired vaginal and urine samples were collected and sequenced by 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Alpha and beta diversity analysis showed that there was no significant difference between the paired vaginal and urine microbiomes. In fact, a vaginal microbiome is generally more similar to its paired urine microbiome than it is to vaginal microbiomes from other people or to the paired buccal and rectal microbiome from that individual. Additionally, the abundance of most of the taxa in the vaginal microbiome was linearly related to that in the paired urine microbiome. These data suggested that the urine microbiome could be used to predict the vaginal microbiome of the same person. However, the urine microbiome contains a significantly larger number of taxa than the paired vaginal microbiome, which may be from the urinary infections or contamination. After removing these additional taxa from the feature table of the microbiomes, the vaginal microbiome exhibited a more similar profile to the paired urine microbiome in the analysis of diversities, linear regression of taxa abundance, and the community type of the microbiomes. In total, our data suggest that the vaginal microbiome is similar to and could be predicted by the paired urine microbiome.


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