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PurposeA successful pregnancy relies on the interplay of various biological systems. Deviations from the norm within a system or intersystemic interactions may result in pregnancy-associated complications and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Systems biology approaches provide an avenue of unbiased, in-depth phenotyping in health and disease. The molecular signature in pregnancy (MSP) cohort was established to characterise longitudinal, cross-omic trajectories in pregnant women from a resource constrained setting. Downstream analysis will focus on characterising physiological perturbations in uneventful pregnancies, pregnancy-associated complications and adverse outcomes.ParticipantsFirst trimester pregnant women of Karen or Burman ethnicity were followed prospectively throughout pregnancy, at delivery and until 3 months post partum. Serial high-frequency sampling to assess whole blood transcriptomics and microbiome composition of the gut, vagina and oral cavity, in conjunction with assessment of gene expression and microbial colonisation of gestational tissue, was done for all cohort participants.Findings to date381 women with live born singletons averaged 16 (IQR 15–18) antenatal visits (13 094 biological samples were collected). At 5% (19/381) the preterm birth rate was low. Other adverse events such as maternal febrile illness 7.1% (27/381), gestational diabetes 13.1% (50/381), maternal anaemia 16.3% (62/381), maternal underweight 19.2% (73/381) and a neonate born small for gestational age 20.2% (77/381) were more often observed than preterm birth.Future plansResults from the MSP cohort will enable in-depth characterisation of cross-omic molecular trajectories in pregnancies from a population in a resource-constrained setting. Moreover, pregnancy-associated complications and unfavourable pregnancy outcomes will be investigated at the same granular level, with a particular focus on population relevant needs such as effect of tropical infections on pregnancy. More detailed knowledge on multiomic perturbations will ideally result in the development of diagnostic tools and ultimately lead to targeted interventions that may disproportionally benefit pregnant women from this resource-limited population.Trial registration numberNCT02797327.

Original publication





BMJ Open



Publication Date





e041631 - e041631