While high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a well-established risk factor for cervical cancer, there are likely other factors within the local microenvironment that contribute to cervical carcinogenesis. Here we investigated relationships between HPV, vaginal pH, vaginal microbiota (VMB) composition, level of genital immune mediators and severity of cervical neoplasm. We enrolled women with low- and high-grade cervical dysplasia (LGD, HGD), invasive cervical carcinoma (ICC), and healthy controls. HPV16, HPV45, HPV58, and HPV31 were the most prevalent in our cohort with HPV16 and HPV31 genotypes more prevalent in Hispanics. Vaginal pH was associated with ethnicity and severity of cervical neoplasm. Lactobacillus dominance decreased with the severity of cervical neoplasm, which correlated with elevated vaginal pH. Hispanic ethnicity was also associated with decreased Lactobacillus dominance. Furthermore, Sneathia was enriched in all precancerous groups, ICC, abnormal pH and Hispanic origin. Patients with ICC, but not LGD and HGD, exhibited increased genital inflammatory scores and elevated specific immune mediators. Notably, IL-36γ was significantly associated with ICC. Our study revealed local, host immune and microbial signatures associated with cervical carcinogenesis and provides an initial step to understanding the complex interplay between mucosal inflammation, HPV persistence and the VMB.
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