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Recent studies have conflicting data regarding the presence of intra-amniotic microbiota. Viral communities are increasingly recognized as important although overlooked components of the human microbiota. It is unknown if the developing fetus is exposed to a community of viruses (virome). Given the debate over the existence of an intra-amniotic microbial community and the importance of understanding how the infant gut is populated, we characterized the virome and bacterial microbiota of amniotic fluid from 24 uncomplicated term pregnancies using next-generation sequencing methods. Contrary to expectations, the bacterial microbiota of amniotic fluid was indistinguishable from contamination controls. Viral reads were sparse in the amniotic fluid, and we found no evidence of a core viral community across samples.
Lim, E. S., Rodriguez, C., & Holtz, L. R. (2018). Amniotic fluid from healthy term pregnancies does not harbor a detectable microbial community. Microbiome, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0475-7