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Cervical epithelial damage promotes Ureaplasma parvum ascending infection, intrauterine inflammation and preterm birth induction in mice

Pavlidis, Ioannis, Spiller, Owen B., Sammut Demarco, Gabriella, MacPherson, Heather, Howie, Sarah E. M., Norman, Jane E. and Stock, Sarah J. 2020. Cervical epithelial damage promotes Ureaplasma parvum ascending infection, intrauterine inflammation and preterm birth induction in mice. Nature Communications 11 (1) , 199. 10.1038/s41467-019-14089-y

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Abstract

Around 40% of preterm births are attributed to ascending intrauterine infection, and Ureaplasma parvum (UP) is commonly isolated in these cases. Here we present a mouse model of ascending UP infection that resembles human disease, using vaginal inoculation combined with mild cervical injury induced by a common spermicide (Nonoxynol-9, as a surrogate for any mechanism of cervical epithelial damage). We measure bacterial load in a non-invasive manner using a luciferase-expressing UP strain, and post-mortem by qPCR and bacterial titration. Cervical exposure to Nonoxynol-9, 24 h pre-inoculation, facilitates intrauterine UP infection, upregulates pro-inflammatory cytokines, and increases preterm birth rates from 13 to 28%. Our results highlight the crucial role of the cervical epithelium as a barrier against ascending infection. In addition, we expect the mouse model will facilitate further research on the potential links between UP infection and preterm birth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 13 December 2019
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 11:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/128701

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