Association between obesity and cervical microflora dominated by lactobacillus iners in Korean women

Hea Young Oh, Sang Soo Seo, Ji Sook Kong, Jae Kwan Lee, Mi Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Lactobacillus spp. are associated with the maintenance of reproductive health, but obesity reduces fertility and is a risk factor for obstetric and neonatal complications. We assessed the association between obesity and the cervical Lactobacillus composition, which has not been examined previously. Pyrosequencing was performed using cervical swabs collected from 76 normal participants with negative results for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and 57 participants with CIN, based on histological examinations. Cluster analysis of nine Lactobacillus spp. was performed, and five cluster types were identified. The association between obesity and the Lactobacillus community was assessed by logistic regression analysis after adjustment for confounding factors. The proportion of Lactobacillus iners increased and that of Lactobacillus crispatus decreased according to body mass index (BMI) categories, i.e., underweight (BMI of<18.5 kgm2), normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 22.9 kgm2), overweight (BMI of 23.0 to 24.9 kgm2), and obese (BMI of>25 kgm2). The L. iners-dominant type had a significant association with obesity (odds ratio [OR], 7.55 [95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 48.2]), compared to the L. crispatus-dominant type. The group with high values for the ratio obtained by dividing the relative abundance of L. iners by that of L. crispatus had a significant association with obesity (OR, 6.54 [95% CI, 1.22 to 35.1]), compared to the low-ratio group. Associations between obesity and the L. iners/L. crispatus ratio were observed among young women (OR, 6.26 [95% CI, 1.15 to 33.9]) but not older women and in the normal group (OR, 6.97 [95% CI, 1.20 to 70.4]) but not the CIN group. Obesity was associated with cervical microflora dominated by L. iners in reproductive-age women without dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3304-3309
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between obesity and cervical microflora dominated by lactobacillus iners in Korean women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this