Smoking and the Vaginal Microbiome
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The focus of this study was to better understand the effects of cigarette smoking on the vaginal microbiome. There were two phases of the study, cross-sectional and longitudinal, conducted at the Center for Health Behavior Research at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. In the cross-sectional phase, 20 smokers and 20 non-smokers collected mid-vaginal swabs, measured their vaginal pH, prepared a vaginal smear on a slide for Nugent Gram stain analysis, and completed questionnaires about demographics, tobacco use, and reproductive and sexual health history. Smoking status was confirmed through self-report, carbon monoxide exhalation and saliva cotinine measures. Secretions from the mid-vaginal swabs were tested for presence/absence of HPV strains and GC-MS was used to quantify the levels of over 600 metabolites.
In the longitudinal phase, 7 participants who were current smokers and motivated to quit smoking were recruited and followed for up to 12 weeks. On a daily basis, participants collected mid-vaginal swabs, measured their vaginal pH, and prepared a ... (Show More)