Lactation and menstruation shift the vaginal microbiota in captive rhesus monkeys to be more similar to the male urethral microbiota
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16925
The vaginal microbiota of nonhuman primates differs substantially from humans in terms of Lactobacillus abundance, overall taxonomic diversity, and vaginal pH. Given these differences, it remains unclear in what way the nonhuman primate genital microbiota protects against pathogens, in particular sexually transmitted infections. Considering the effect that microbiota variations can have on disease acquisition and outcome, we examined endogenous and exogenous factors that influence the urogenital microbiota of male and female captive rhesus monkeys. The male urethral (n = 37) and vaginal (n = 194) microbiota of 11 breeding groups were examined in a cross-sectional study. During lactation and menstruation, the vaginal microbiota becomes significantly more diverse and more similar to the microbes observed in the male urethra. Group association and cage-mate (sexual partners) relationships were additionally associated with significant differences in the urogenital microbiota. Our results demonstrate that microbiota considerations are necessary in order to make informed selection of nonhuman primates as translational animal models.