Gardnerella vaginalis and Prevotella bivia Trigger Distinct and Overlapping Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Bacterial Vaginosis

Nicole M. Gilbert, Warren G. Lewis, Guocai Li, Dorothy K. Sojka, Jean Bernard Lubin, Amanda L. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common imbalance of the vaginal microbiota characterized by overgrowth of diverse Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Gram-negative anaerobes. Women with BV are at increased risk of secondary reproductive tract infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, which specific bacteria cause clinical features of BV is unclear. Methods: We previously demonstrated that Gardnerella vaginalis could elicit many BV features in mice. In this study, we established a BV model in which we coinfected mice with G. vaginalis and another species commonly found in women with BV: Prevotella bivia. Results: This coinfection model recapitulates several aspects of human BV, including vaginal sialidase activity (a diagnostic BV feature independently associated with adverse outcomes), epithelial exfoliation, and ascending infection. It is notable that G. vaginalis facilitated uterine infection by P. bivia. Conclusions: Taken together, our model provides a framework for advancing our understanding of the role of individual or combinations of BV-associated bacteria in BV pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1108
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume220
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2019

Keywords

  • coinfection
  • exfoliation
  • sialidase
  • vagina

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