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Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019 Jun 12;9:188. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00188. eCollection 2019.

Dynamics of Vaginal and Rectal Microbiota Over Several Menstrual Cycles in Female Cynomolgus Macaques.

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CEA, Université Paris-Sud, Inserm, U1184 "Immunology of Viral Infections and Autoimmune Diseases" (IMVA), IDMIT Department, IBFJ, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
MISTIC Group, Department of Virology, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
Institute for Genome Sciences and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.


The composition of the microbiota in cynomolgus macaques is only partially characterized, although this animal model is often used to study pathogenesis and preventive strategies against infections. We thus performed, for the first time, a longitudinal characterization of the vaginal and rectal microbiota of five cycling female cynomolgus macaques. Samples were collected weekly for 15 weeks and the V3/V4 regions of the16S rRNA gene sequenced. Sequences were analyzed with QIIME for OTU detection and taxonomic assignment. Progesterone levels were also determined to evaluate hormonal influence on bacteria relative abundance. The rectal and vaginal bacterial composition in cynomolgus macaques is polymicrobial and clearly distinct, with larger individual variability in the vagina. Rectal microbiota profiles were consistent between animals, whereas they were highly variable and animal-specific in the vagina. In the rectum, the most abundant taxa were Ruminococcaceae, Prevotella, and Clostridiales. In the vagina, the most abundant genera were Sneathia, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, and Fusobacterium. Lactobacillus were found at relative abundances higher than 1% in only one animal and were not predominant. Comparison of the vaginal cynomolgus macaque microbiota with that of humans showed similarity to community state type IV-A usually associated with dysbiosis. In the vagina, the relative abundance of 12 bacterial genera was found to be associated with progesterone levels. Our study provides a detailed characterization of the rectal and vaginal microbiota in female cynomolgus macaques and opens new perspectives of this animal model.


cynomolgus macaques; female hormones; microbiota; mucosa; rectum; vagina

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