Genetic and biochemical diversity of Gardnerella vaginalis strains isolated from women with bacterial vaginosis.
ABSTRACT Gardnerella vaginalis is considered a substantial player in the progression of bacterial vaginosis (BV). We analysed 17 G. vaginalis strains isolated from the genital tract of women diagnosed with BV to establish a potential link between genotypes/biotypes and the expression of virulence factors, vaginolysin (VLY) and sialidase, which are assumed to play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of BV. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis revealed two G. vaginalis genotypes. Gardnerella vaginalis isolates of genotype 2 appeared more complex than genotype 1 and were subdivided into three subtypes. Biochemical typing allowed us to distinguish four different biotypes. A great diversity of the level of VLY production among the isolates of G. vaginalis may be related to a different cytotoxicity level of the strains. We did not find any correlation between VLY production level and G. vaginalis genotype/biotype. In contrast, a link between G. vaginalis genotype and sialidase production was established. Our findings on the diversity of VLY expression level in different clinical isolates and linking sialidase activity with the genotype of G. vaginalis could help to evaluate the pathogenic potential of different G. vaginalis strains.
Article: Resolution and characterization of distinct cpn60-based subgroups of Gardnerella vaginalis in the vaginal microbiota.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bacterial vaginosis (BV), characterized by a shift of the vaginal microbiota from a Lactobacillus-dominated community to a dense biofilm containing a complex mixture of organisms, is an important risk factor in poor reproductive health outcomes. The Nugent score, based on Gram stain, is used to diagnose BV and Gardnerella vaginalis abundance in the sample is one factor determining Nugent score. A high Nugent score is indicative of BV but does not always correspond to the presence of clinical symptoms. G. vaginalis is recognized as a heterogeneous group of organisms, which can also be part of the normal, healthy vaginal microbiome. In addition, asymptomatic BV and non-Gardnerella types of BV are being recognized. In an attempt to resolve the heterogeneous group of G. vaginalis, a phylogenetic tree of cpn60 universal target sequences from G. vaginalis isolates was constructed that indicates the existence of four subgroups of G. vaginalis. This subdivision, supported by whole genome similarity calculation of representative strains using JSpecies, demonstrates that these subgroups may represent different species. The cpn60 subgroupings did not correspond with the Piot biotyping scheme, but did show consistency with ARDRA genotyping and sialidase gene presence. Isolates from all four subgroups produced biofilm in vitro. We also investigated the distribution of G. vaginalis subgroups in vaginal samples from Kenyan women with Nugent scores consistent with BV, Intermediate and Normal microbiota (n = 44). All subgroups of G. vaginalis were detected in these women, with a significant difference (z = -3.372, n = 39, p = 0.001) in frequency of G. vaginalis subgroup B between BV and Normal groups. Establishment of a quantifiable relationship between G. vaginalis subgroup distribution and clinical status could have significant diagnostic implications.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43009. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Gardnerella vaginalis is identified as the predominant colonist of the vaginal tracts of women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis (BV). G. vaginalis can be isolated from healthy women, and an asymptomatic BV state is also recognised. The association of G. vaginalis with different clinical phenotypes could be explained by different cytotoxicity of the strains, presumably based on disparate gene content. The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to shaping the genomes of G. vaginalis is acknowledged. The CRISPR loci of the recently discovered CRISPR/Cas microbial defence system provide a historical view of the exposure of prokaryotes to a variety of foreign genetic elements. RESULTS: The CRISPR/Cas loci were analysed using available sequence data from three G. vaginalis complete genomes and 18 G. vaginalis draft genomes in the NCBI database, as well as PCR amplicons of the genomic DNA of 17 clinical isolates. The cas genes in the CRISPR/Cas loci of G. vaginalis belong to the E. coli subtype. Approximately 20% of the spacers had matches in the GenBank database. Sequence analysis of the CRISPR arrays revealed that nearly half of the spacers matched G. vaginalis chromosomal sequences. The spacers that matched G. vaginalis chromosomal sequences were determined to not be self-targeting and were presumably neither constituents of mobile-element-associated genes nor derived from plasmids/viruses. The protospacers targeted by these spacers displayed conserved protospacer-adjacent motifs. CONCLUSIONS: The CRISPR/Cas system has been identified in about one half of the analysed G. vaginalis strains. Our analysis of CRISPR sequences did not reveal a potential link between their presence and the virulence of the G. vaginalis strains. Based on the origins of the spacers found in the G. vaginalis CRISPR arrays, we hypothesise that the transfer of genetic material among G. vaginalis strains could be regulated by the CRISPR/Cas mechanism. The present study is the first attempt to determine and analyse the CRISPR loci of bacteria isolated from the human vaginal tract.BMC Microbiology 12/2012; 12(1):301. · 3.04 Impact Factor
Article: Clinical Features of Bacterial Vaginosis in a Murine Model of Vaginal Infection with Gardnerella vaginalis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a dysbiosis of the vaginal flora characterized by a shift from a Lactobacillus-dominant environment to a polymicrobial mixture including Actinobacteria and Gram-negative bacilli. BV is a common vaginal condition in women and is associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth. Gardnerella vaginalis is one of the most frequently isolated bacterial species in BV. However, there has been much debate in the literature concerning the contribution of G. vaginalis to the etiology of BV, since it is also present in a significant proportion of healthy women. Here we present a new murine vaginal infection model with a clinical isolate of G. vaginalis. Our data demonstrate that this model displays key features used clinically to diagnose BV, including the presence of sialidase activity and exfoliated epithelial cells with adherent bacteria (reminiscent of clue cells). G. vaginalis was capable of ascending uterine infection, which correlated with the degree of vaginal infection and level of vaginal sialidase activity. The host response to G. vaginalis infection was characterized by robust vaginal epithelial cell exfoliation in the absence of histological inflammation. Our analyses of clinical specimens from women with BV revealed a measureable epithelial exfoliation response compared to women with normal flora, a phenotype that, to our knowledge, is measured here for the first time. The results of this study demonstrate that G. vaginalis is sufficient to cause BV phenotypes and suggest that this organism may contribute to BV etiology and associated complications. This is the first time vaginal infection by a BV associated bacterium in an animal has been shown to parallel the human disease with regard to clinical diagnostic features. Future studies with this model should facilitate investigation of important questions regarding BV etiology, pathogenesis and associated complications.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59539. · 4.09 Impact Factor