Non-human primate model for genital tract microbiome research


Identification: Obiero, Jael


Description

Non-human primate model for genital tract microbiome research
 
Jael Obiero1,2, Peter G. Mwethera1
1Institute of Primate Research, Department of Reproductive Health & Biology; 2Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, Department of Medical Microbiology
 
Background: The vaginal microbiome is believed to influence host health by providing protection from pathogens and influencing reproductive outcomes such as fertility and gestational length. Knowledge of the composition of vaginal microbial ecosystem is essential for understanding the etiology, prevention, and treatment of vaginal diseases. A baboon model has been used to provide detailed understanding of reproductive physiology and immunology applicable to women. However, little is known about the composition of its vaginal microbial ecosystem.
 
Methods: Gram-stain and Nugent scores were used for assessment of baboon vaginal microbial flora. Biochemical identification and analysis of isolates were performed using the Analytical Profile Index kits and identification software.
 
Results: Species of Lactobacilli, Staphylococci, Clostridia, Bacilli, Corynebacteria, Gram-negative rods, other Gram-positive rods, cocci and Candida, were isolated. Healthy vaginal microbiota consisted mainly of lactobacillus morphotypes. Animals with high Nugent scores had increased number of Gram-positive cocci and variable rods, with increased number of Gram-negative morphotypes.
 
Conclusion: The baboon vaginal microbiota is heterogeneous in terms of species composition and is typified by a scarcity of lactobacilli. Characterisation of baboon vaginal microbial communities, their interactions and impact on reproductive outcomes warrant investigation.

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