A Murine Model of Group B Streptococcus Vaginal Colonization

J Vis Exp. 2016 Nov 16:(117):54708. doi: 10.3791/54708.


Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus, GBS), is a Gram-positive, asymptomatic colonizer of the human gastrointestinal tract and vaginal tract of 10 - 30% of adults. In immune-compromised individuals, including neonates, pregnant women, and the elderly, GBS may switch to an invasive pathogen causing sepsis, arthritis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Because GBS is a leading bacterial pathogen of neonates, current prophylaxis is comprised of late gestation screening for GBS vaginal colonization and subsequent peripartum antibiotic treatment of GBS-positive mothers. Heavy GBS vaginal burden is a risk factor for both neonatal disease and colonization. Unfortunately, little is known about the host and bacterial factors that promote or permit GBS vaginal colonization. This protocol describes a technique for establishing persistent GBS vaginal colonization using a single β-estradiol pre-treatment and daily sampling to determine bacterial load. It further details methods to administer additional therapies or reagents of interest and to collect vaginal lavage fluid and reproductive tract tissues. This mouse model will further the understanding of the GBS-host interaction within the vaginal environment, which will lead to potential therapeutic targets to control maternal vaginal colonization during pregnancy and to prevent transmission to the vulnerable newborn. It will also be of interest to increase our understanding of general bacterial-host interactions in the female vaginal tract.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Streptococcal Infections*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae*
  • Vagina / microbiology*