Vaginal microbiome and uterine microbiome

Within this line of research, the 'Gynaecology Research Group' conducts both pure microbiological research and pure clinical research, but with translational research as the absolute focus. We are interested in:

  • the ecology of the vaginal microbiome
  • the pathogenesis of dysbiosis including biofilm formation at vaginal epithelium
  • the role of the vaginal metabolome and DL-lactic acid in particular
  • the epidemiology of vaginal dysbiosis, in particular, its relationship with fertility and with pelvic oncology
  • new therapeutic options to protect and repair the Lactobacillus-dominated vaginal microbiome


The Department of Gynecology, and by extension Ghent University, has a long track record of researching the vaginal microbiome and its most frequent disturbance or dysbiosis, namely bacterial vaginosis.

Current and planned research projects

Safety and effectiveness of a vaginal DL-lactic acid releasing ring (Ghent University patent) in the treatment of recurrent bacterial vaginosis


Randomized study of the safety and effectiveness of vaginal microbiome transplantation in the treatment of recurrent bacterial vaginosis

  • researcher: Hans Verstraelen
  • funding: H2020 consortium (project proposal submitted) led by the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israël


The vaginal microbiome in patients after treatment for breast cancer and its role in vaginal atrophy


The uterine microbiome in recurrent implantation failure versus proven fertility (completed, publication phase)


This line of research focuses on various national and international collaborations, including with

  • Piet Cools (Laboratory for bacteriological research Ghent University)
  • Alexander Swidsinski (Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, Polymicrobial Infections and Biofilms, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin)
  • Janneke Van de Wijgert (Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK)



  • Hans Verstraelen, researcher