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Exp Anim. 1998 Jul;47(3):151-8.

Normalization of reproductive function in germfree mice following bacterial contamination.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, Tokai University School of Health Sciences, Kanagawa, Japan.


The capacity for reproduction in germfree mice remain inferior to their conventional counterparts even after improvement of feed and other such rearing conditions. The authors provide evidence of increased reproductive capacity in germfree mice following association with bacteria. Estrous cycles were normalized in female mice accidentally contaminated with bacteria, and in mice given fecal suspensions of the accidentally contaminated mice per os. Significant rises were seen in their copulation and implantation rates, reaching levels comparable to values in conventional mice. In male mice, bacterial contamination induced significant increase in sperm motility. Bacteria were identified in the feces of the contaminated mice, and reproductive capacity was examined in mice associated with the identified bacteria. As a result, normalization of the estrous cycle, and rises in copulation and implantation rates were noted in B. distasonis and C. perfringens di-associated mice. Values from B. subtilis mono-associated mice were comparable to those in germfree mice. These results from our accidental contamination indicate that B. distasonis and C. perfringens are capable of normalizing estrous cycles in female germfree mice, and in increasing their reproductive capacity by raising their rates of copulation and implantation.

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