Margaret Hostetter from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the U.S. and her co-investigators will examine how disruption of the normal bacteria and other micro-organisms (the microbiome) of the lower female genital tract may increase risk of preterm birth. These investigations will focus on vaginal Candida infections in pregnancy, inflammation, and regulation of the immune response. Research will be conducted using animal models and laboratory investigations connected to studies of women in low-resource countries. Their goal is to investigate protective and pathogenic mechanisms of preterm birth and identify novel treatment strategies for vaginal fungal infections to prevent preterm birth. Funding partners: Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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