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Vaccine. 2008 Oct 23;26(45):5741-51. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.08.020. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Local and humoral immune responses against primary and repeat Neisseria gonorrhoeae genital tract infections of 17beta-estradiol-treated mice.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


The 17beta-estradiol-treated mouse model is the only small animal model of gonococcal genital tract infection. Here we show gonococci localized within vaginal and cervical tissue, including the lamina propria, and high numbers of neutrophils and macrophages in genital tissue from infected mice. Infection did not induce a substantial or sustained increase in total or gonococcal-specific antibodies. Mice could be reinfected with the same strain and repeat infection did not boost the antibody response. However, intravaginal immunization of estradiol-treated mice induced gonococcal-specific primary and secondary serum antibody responses. We conclude that similar to human infection, experimental murine infection induces local inflammation but not an acquired immune response or immunological memory.

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