Endometrial microbiota is more diverse in people with endometriosis than symptomatic controls Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractEndometriosis is a chronic, estrogen-dependent gynecological condition affecting approximately 10% of reproductive age women. The most widely accepted theory of its etiology includes retrograde menstruation. Recent reports suggest the uterus is not sterile. Thus, the refluxed menstrual effluent may carry bacteria, and contribute to inflammation, the establishment and growth of endometriotic lesions. Here, we compared and contrasted uterine bacteria (endometrial microbiota) in people with surgically confirmed presence (N = 12) or absence of endometriosis (N = 9) using next-generation 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We obtained an average of > 9000 sequence reads per endometrial biopsy, and found the endometrial microbiota of people with endometriosis was more diverse (greater Shannon Diversity Index and proportion of ‘Other’ taxa) than symptomatic controls (with pelvic pain, surgically confirmed absence of endometriosis; diagnosed with other benign gynecological conditions). The relative abundance of bacterial taxa enriched in the endometrial microbiota of people with endometriosis belonged to the Actinobacteria phylum (Gram-positive), Oxalobacteraceae (Gram-negative) and Streptococcaceae (Gram-positive) families, and Tepidimonas (Gram-negative) genus, while those enriched in the symptomatic controls belonged to the Burkholderiaceae (Gram-negative) family, and Ralstonia (Gram-negative) genus. Taken together, results suggest the endometrial microbiota is perturbed in people with endometriosis.


  • Wessels, Jocelyn M
  • Domínguez, Miguel A
  • Leyland, Nicholas A
  • Agarwal, Sanjay K
  • Foster, Warren

publication date

  • September 23, 2021