Do Gut Bacteria Play a Role in Preeclampsia?
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Gut microbiota imbalances have been linked to conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can contribute to pregnancy complications. Researchers recently questioned whether these imbalances also might be associated with preeclampsia, a condition that lacks reliable prediction methods and can lead to serious and even fatal complications for both mother and baby.

In a study published in Gut, analyses of fecal samples from 67 pregnant women with preeclampsia and 85 normotensive pregnant women revealed reduced gut bacteria diversity among participants with the condition, with clear imbalances of healthy vs disease-associated strains. Women with preeclampsia had more opportunistic pathogens, particularly Fusobacterium and Veillonella, for example, and less beneficial bacteria, including Faecalibacterium and Akkermansia. These imbalances correlated with blood pressure levels and markers of kidney dysfunction, hinting at a possible link to preeclampsia, which is characterized by hypertension and, often, signs of multiple organ damage.

The scientists suspect that an altered bacterial composition during pregnancy may influence a woman’s blood pressure and that certain gut bacteria may translocate into the placenta. Once there, the microbes may cause inflammation and poor placental formation and growth. The researchers are working to uncover the potential mechanisms behind these effects and how they might be related. In a recent study, Mayo Clinic researchers found that women with preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy have greater cardiac and kidney disease risks than previously recognized.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766611
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