Models of Murine Vaginal Colonization by Anaerobically Grown Bacteria

Sydney R. Morrill, Kavita Agarwal, Sudeshna Saha, Warren G. Lewis, Nicole M. Gilbert, Amanda L. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The mammalian vagina can be colonized by many bacterial taxa. The human vaginal microbiome is often dominated by Lactobacillus species, but one-in-four women experience bacterial vaginosis, in which a low level of lactobacilli is accompanied by an overgrowth of diverse anaerobic bacteria. This condition has been associated with many health complications, including risks to reproductive and sexual health. While there is growing evidence showing the complex nature of microbial interactions in human vaginal health, the individual roles of these different anaerobic bacteria are not fully understood. This is complicated by the lack of adequate models to study anaerobically grown vaginal bacteria. Mouse models allow us to investigate the biology and virulence of these organisms in vivo. Other mouse models of vaginal bacterial inoculation have previously been described. Here, we describe methods for the inoculation of anaerobically grown bacteria and their viable recovery in conventionally raised C57Bl/6 mice. A new, less stressful procedural method for vaginal inoculation and washing is also described. Inoculation and viable recovery of Gardnerella are outlined in detail, and strategies for additional anaerobes such as Prevotella bivia and Fusobacterium nucleatum are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64032
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number183
StatePublished - May 2022


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