Therapeutic opportunities in the vaginal microbiome
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The reproductive tract of females lies at the core of humanity. The immensely complex process that leads to successful reproduction is miraculous yet invariably successful. Microorganisms have always been a cause for concern for their ability to infect this region, yet it is other, nonpathogenic microbial constituents now uncovered by sequencing technologies that offer hope for improving health. The universality of Lactobacillus species being associated with health is the basis for therapeutic opportunities, including through engineered strains. The manipulation of these and other beneficial constituents of the microbiota and their functionality, as well as their metabolites, forms the basis for new diagnostics and interventions. Within 20 years, we should see significant improvements in how cervicovaginal health is restored and maintained, thus providing relief to the countless women who suffer from microbiota-associated disorders.