Chapter 28 : Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa

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This chapter examines the current knowledge of urogenital bacterial microbiota in women and explores methods to manipulate the organisms to restore and maintain health. One study that effectively monitored colonization of two newborns from birth showed that the primary colonizers in the first week of life in vaginally born, breast-fed babies are , , , , and , with bifidobacteria not appearing until the second week. In terms of urogenital colonization, most studies have focused on the transfer of pathogens, such as group B streptococci, from mother to newborn. Proteomic studies have shown that the protein composition of the urine fluctuates, with stone formers having higher concentrations of albumin. There is considerable knowledge about how sexually transmitted disease pathogens such as gonococci, herpes simplex virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) interact with the host, but the focus of this chapter is on bacterial and yeast populations on the vaginal and urethral mucosa. Given that colonizes up to 60% of women deemed to have a healthy vaginal mucosa, more studies are needed to understand which hosts react in an inflammatory and symptomatic manner and to determine the triggers for this response. Vaccine development such as the recent use of recombined to express the CD4 receptor for HIV will continue for some pathogens, as will the search for new remedies for viral infections.

Citation: Reid G. 2005. Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa, p 431-448. In Nataro J, Cohen P, Mobley H, Weiser J (ed), Colonization of Mucosal Surfaces. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817619.ch28
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Figure 1

Atomic force microscopy image of GR-1, illustrating the ability to examine nanoscale forces at the bacterial surface interface. Courtesy of Jonathan Hui and Jana Jass.

Citation: Reid G. 2005. Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa, p 431-448. In Nataro J, Cohen P, Mobley H, Weiser J (ed), Colonization of Mucosal Surfaces. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817619.ch28
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Figure 2

Vaginal health versus disease: what sways the balance?

Citation: Reid G. 2005. Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa, p 431-448. In Nataro J, Cohen P, Mobley H, Weiser J (ed), Colonization of Mucosal Surfaces. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817619.ch28
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Figure 3

(formerly ) RC-14 (depicted on the right) colonizes the vagina, displaces pathogens, and sends signals to fimbriated uropathogenic (left) that down regulate some virulence factor activity.

Citation: Reid G. 2005. Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa, p 431-448. In Nataro J, Cohen P, Mobley H, Weiser J (ed), Colonization of Mucosal Surfaces. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817619.ch28
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Figure 4

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of strains by using ApaI. Lanes: 1 and 6, low-range pulsed-field gel electrophoresis marker; 2, RC-14, 3, ATCC 23272 (DSM 20016); 4, NCIMB 702656; 5, NCIMB 701359. Note the significant difference between strain RC-14 and the other strains.

Citation: Reid G. 2005. Colonization of the Vaginal and Urethral Mucosa, p 431-448. In Nataro J, Cohen P, Mobley H, Weiser J (ed), Colonization of Mucosal Surfaces. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817619.ch28
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