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Title: Metabolite Profile of Cervicovaginal Fluids from Early Pregnancy Is Not Predictive of Spontaneous Preterm Birth
Authors: Thomas, M. M.
Sulek, K.
McKenzie, E. J.
Jones, B.
Han, T. L.
Villas-Boas, S. G.
Kenny, L. C.
McCowan, L. M.
Baker, Philip Newton
First Published: 19-Nov-2015
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2015, 16 (11), pp. 27741-27748
Abstract: In our study, we used a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to search for biomarkers that may act as early indicators of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB). Samples were selected as a nested case-control study from the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) biobank in Auckland, New Zealand. Cervicovaginal swabs were collected at 20 weeks from women who were originally assessed as being at low risk of sPTB. Samples were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Despite the low amount of biomass (16-23 mg), 112 compounds were detected. Statistical analysis showed no significant correlations with sPTB. Comparison of reported infection and plasma inflammatory markers from early pregnancy showed two inflammatory markers were correlated with reported infection, but no correlation with any compounds in the metabolite profile was observed. We hypothesise that the lack of biomarkers of sPTB in the cervicovaginal fluid metabolome is simply because it lacks such markers in early pregnancy. We propose alternative biofluids be investigated for markers of sPTB. Our results lead us to call for greater scrutiny of previously published metabolomic data relating to biomarkers of sPTB in cervicovaginal fluids, as the use of small, high risk, or late pregnancy cohorts may identify metabolite biomarkers that are irrelevant for predicting risk in normal populations.
DOI Link: 10.3390/ijms161126052
ISSN: 1661-6596
eISSN: 1422-0067
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

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