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Characterization of the equine placental microbial population in healthy pregnancies

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

In spite of controversy, recent studies present evidence that a microbiome is present in the human placenta. However, there is limited information about a potential equine placental microbiome. In the present study, we characterized the microbial population in the equine placenta (chorioallantois) of healthy prepartum (280 days of gestation, n = 6) and postpartum (immediately after foaling, 351 days of gestation, n = 11) mares, using 16S rDNA sequencing (rDNA-seq). In both groups, the majority of bacteria belonged to the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidota. The five most abundant genera were Bradyrhizobium, an unclassified Pseudonocardiaceae, Acinetobacter, Pantoea, and an unclassified Microbacteriaceae. Alpha diversity (p < 0.05) and beta diversity (p < 0.01) were significantly different between pre-and postpartum samples. Additionally, the abundance of 7 phyla and 55 genera was significantly different between pre-and postpartum samples. These differences suggest an effect of the caudal reproductive tract microbiome on the postpartum placental microbial DNA composition, since the passage of the placenta through the cervix and vagina during normal parturition had a significant influence on the composition of the bacteria found in the placenta when using 16S rDNA-seq. These data support the hypothesis that bacterial DNA is present in healthy equine placentas and opens the possi-bility for further exploration of the impact of the placental microbiome on fetal development and pregnancy outcome.(c) 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
ISSN: 1879-3231
Volume: 206
Pages: 60 - 70
Publication year:2023