Use of cervicovaginal fluid for the identification of biomarkers for pathologies of the female genital tract
Van Raemdonck, Geert A.A.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Proteome science. - London
, p. 63-
University of Antwerp
Cervicovaginal fluid has an important function in the homeostasis and immunity of the lower female genital tract. Analysis of the cervicovaginal fluid proteome may therefore yield important information about the pathogenesis of numerous gynecological pathologies. Additionally, cervicovaginal fluid has great potential as a source of biomarkers for these conditions. This review provides a detailed discussion about the human cervicovaginal proteome and the proteomics studies performed to characterize this biological fluid. Furthermore, infection-correlated pathological conditions of the female genital tract are discussed for which cervicovaginal fluid has been used in order to identify potential biomarkers. Recent years, numerous studies have analyzed cervicovaginal fluid samples utilizing antibody-based technologies, such as ELISA or Western blotting, to identify biomarkers for preterm birth, premature preterm rupture of membranes, bacterial vaginosis and cervical cancer. The present article will discuss the importance of proteomic technologies as alternative techniques to gain additional meaningful information about these conditions. In addition, the review focuses on recent proteomic studies on cervicovaginal fluid samples for the identification of potential biomarkers. We conclude that the use of proteomic technology for analysis of human cervicovaginal fluid samples is promising and may lead to the discovery of new biomarkers which can improve disease prevention and therapy development.