Abstract Background Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. However, only a small percentage of high-risk (HR) HPV infections progress to cervical precancer and cancer. In this study, we investigated the role of the cervicovaginal microbiome (CVM) in the natural history of HR-HPV. Methods This study was nested within the placebo arm of the Costa Rica HPV Vaccine Trial that included women aged 18–25 years of age. Cervical samples from two visits of women with an incident HR-HPV infection (n = 273 women) were used to evaluate the prospective role of the CVM on the natural history of HR-HPV. We focus specifically on infection clearance, persistence, and progression to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 and 3 (CIN2+). The CVM was characterized by amplification and sequencing the bacterial 16S V4 rRNA gene region and the fungal ITS1 region using an Illumina MiSeq platform. OTU clustering was performed using QIIME2. Functional groups were imputed using PICRUSt and statistical analyses were performed using R.


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Citation Usyk M, Zolnik CP, Castle PE, Porras C, Herrero R, Gradissimo A, et al. (2020) Cervicovaginal microbiome and natural history of HPV in a longitudinal study. PLoS Pathog 16(3): e1008376. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008376