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

Goal of this website

This website provide informations of the experimental design used to determine the vaginal and rectal microbiota of cynomolgus macaques and the main results of this study. The results are shown with a dynamic representation through a « sunderburst »

Overview of the project

Microbiota play important roles in the protection against sexually transmitted infections. However, 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. Plasma progesterone levels were also determined to evaluate their 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, 15 taxa had abundances greater than 1% over the entire cynomolgus macaque population, 13 were identified in all animals, and the three most abundant taxa, Ruminococcaceae, Prevotella, and Clostridiales, were identified in all rectal samples. In the vagina, 15 taxa had abundances greater than 1%, 11 were identified in all animals, and none were identified in all vaginal samples. The most abundant genera in the vagina were Sneathia, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, and Fusobacterium. Lactobacillus were found at 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 (CST IV-A), a previously described state thought to be associated with dysbiosis. In the vagina, the abundance of 12 bacterial genera was found to be associated with progesterone levels, including Lactobacillus and Peptoniphilus which had higher abundance at the progesterone peak. Our study provides a detailed characterization of the rectal and vaginal microbiota in female cynomolgus macaques. These results constitute a solid basis for the development of new studies in this animal model, such as the development of microbiota-based intervention to prevent sexual disease transmission.