Reproduction and Fertility
Latest Impact Factor: 2.8
2023 Journal CiteScore: 2.8



Professor Andrew Horne
Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive
MRC Centre for Reproductive Health,
University of Edinburgh, UK
Professor Norah Spears
Norah Spears, D Phil
Professor of Reproductive Physiology,
Centre for Integrative Physiology,
University of Edinburgh, UK
Meet the Editorial Board

First trimester pregnancy losses are commonly attributed to chromosomal abnormalities. The causes of pregnancy loss following transfer of a euploid embryo are not fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical and embryological parameters for pregnancy failure following the transfer of a single euploid embryo. Pregnancy outcomes of single euploid embryo transfers from a single centre between January 2017 and March 2020 were retrospectively evaluated. Several clinical and embryological parameters were evaluated in consideration to pregnancy outcomes; total pregnancy loss and live birth. Endometrial preparation type, number of previous frozen embryo transfer cycles, history of recurrent pregnancy loss, higher body mass index, presence of endometriosis and/or adenomyosis and embryo quality were found to be significantly different between two groups. Morphokinetic parameter analysis of 523 euploid embryos using time-lapse imaging did not show any statistical differences between the two groups, however a significantly higher rate of uneven blastomeres in the cleavage stage was observed in the total preganncy loss group. Evaluation of clinical and embryological data can reveal possible factors associated with pregnancy loss that can facilitate improved patient consultation. Feasible interventions can potentially increase the chance of achieving a live birth.

The pioneer microbiome is the initial colonization and establishment of microorganisms within the neonate. The objective of this project was to quantify maternal and environmental contributions to the piglet's pioneer microbiome. Sterile swabs were used to collect samples from the gilt’s rectum, the farrowing crate before and after gilts were moved in, the gilt’s birth canal during farrowing, and the piglet’s rectum on days 0 (prior to suckling), 3, and 10 post-farrowing and at weaning (21.6 ± 1.0 days post-farrowing). During farrowing, colostrum was collected from each gilt from a representative sample of teats into a single sterile collection cup. Bacterial DNA extraction and sequencing targeted the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. The relative abundance of Lactobacillus in the piglet microbiome was lower on day 3 compared to day 0, 10, and at weaning (P < 0.05). For alpha diversity, piglet samples exhibited distinct clustering for bacterial richness by day (P < 0.01). Multiple regression analyses indicated that the birth canal explained 51.6% of the variation observed in the piglet day 0 microbiome (P < 0.0001) and 6.5% of the variation in the piglet day 10 microbiome (P = 0.013). The day 10 microbiome explained 58.6% of the variation observed in the piglet microbiome at weaning (P < 0.0001). Bacterial communities of the farrowing crate and colostrum did not impact the piglet microbiome for any day (P > 0.10). Results indicate that the piglet pioneer microbiome is largely influenced by the microbiome of the birth canal.

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