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Pathog Dis. 2015 Jun;73(4). pii: ftv019. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftv019. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Chlamydia caviae infection alters abundance but not composition of the guinea pig vaginal microbiota.

Author information

1
Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
2
Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
3
Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.
4
Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
5
Department of Biological Sciences, Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST), University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843, USA.
6
Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA jravel@som.umaryland.edu.

Abstract

In humans, the vaginal microbiota is thought to be the first line of defense again pathogens including Chlamydia trachomatis. The guinea pig has been extensively used as a model to study chlamydial infection because it shares anatomical and physiological similarities with humans, such as a squamous vaginal epithelium as well as some of the long-term outcomes caused by chlamydial infection. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the guinea pig-C. caviae model of genital infection as a surrogate for studying the role of the vaginal microbiota in the early steps of C. trachomatis infection in humans. We used culture-independent molecular methods to characterize the relative and absolute abundance of bacterial phylotypes in the guinea pig vaginal microbiota in animals non-infected, mock-infected or infected by C. caviae. We showed that the guinea pig and human vaginal microbiotas are of different bacterial composition and abundance. Chlamydia caviae infection had a profound effect on the absolute abundance of bacterial phylotypes but not on the composition of the guinea pig vaginal microbiota. Our findings compromise the validity of the guinea pig-C. caviae model to study the role of the vaginal microbiota during the early steps of sexually transmitted infection.

KEYWORDS:

Chlamydia trachomatis; Lactobacillus; microbiome; model organism; vagina

PMID:
25761873
PMCID:
PMC4445005
DOI:
10.1093/femspd/ftv019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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