Is a foetus developing in a sterile environment?

T. M. Wassenaar, Pinaki Panigrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Novel findings in microbiology question the long-standing paradigm that a healthy pregnancy implies a sterile uterus. It now seems that the placenta is frequently colonized with bacteria, and a placental microbiome has been identified. Recent literature findings are summarized here, and an attempt is made to separate pathological bacterial presence from a naturally occurring microbiome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-579
Number of pages8
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Amniotic fluid
  • Breast milk
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Newborn colonization
  • Placenta microbiome
  • Placental microbiome
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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