Persistent HPV infection associated with immune modulation may result in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (CIN)2/3. Currently, there is little information on the cervicovaginal microbiome, local cytokine levels and HPV infection related to CIN. Follow-up of patients after local surgery provides an opportunity to monitor changes in the cervicovaginal environment. Accordingly, we undertook this longitudinal retrospective study to determine associations between HPV genotypes, cervicovaginal microbiome and local cytokine profiles in 41 Japanese patients with CIN. Cervicovaginal microbiota were identified using universal 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) bacterial primers for the V3/4 region by PCR of genomic DNA, followed by MiSeq sequencing. We found that Atopobium vaginae was significantly decreased (p < 0.047), whereas A. ureaplasma (p < 0.022) increased after surgery. Cytokine levels in cervical mucus were measured by multiplexed bead-based immunoassays, revealing that IL-1β (p < 0.006), TNF-α (p < 0.004), MIP-1α (p < 0.045) and eotaxin (p < 0.003) were significantly decreased after surgery. Notably, the level of eotaxin decreased in parallel with HPV clearance after surgery (p < 0.028). Thus, local surgery affected the cervicovaginal microbiome, status of HPV infection and immune response. Changes to the cervicovaginal microbiota and cervical cytokine profile following surgery for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia may be important for understanding the pathogenesis of CIN in future.
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