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Journal of Infectious Diseases andMedicine

ISSN: 2576-1420

Open Access

Exploring the Pregnant Guinea Pig as a Model for Group B Streptococcus Intrauterine Infection

Abstract

Maria I Harrell, Kellie Burnside, Christopher Whidbey, Jay Vornhagen, Kristina M Adams Waldorf and Lakshmi Rajagopal

Infection of the amniotic cavity remains a major cause of preterm birth, stillbirth, fetal injury and early onset, fulminant infections in newborns. Currently, there are no effective therapies to prevent in utero infection and consequent co-morbidities. This is in part due to the lack of feasible and appropriate animal models to understand mechanisms that lead to in utero infections. Use of mouse and rat models do not fully recapitulate human pregnancy, while pregnant nonhuman primate models are limited by ethical considerations, technical constraints, and cost. Given these limitations, the guinea pig is an attractive animal model for studying pregnancy infections, particularly as the placental structure is quite similar to the human placenta. Here, we describe our studies that explored the pregnant guinea pig as a model to study in utero Group B Streptococci (GBS) infections. We observed that intrauterine inoculation of wild type GBS in pregnant guinea pigs resulted in bacterial invasion and dissemination to the placenta, amniotic fluid and fetal organs. Also, hyperhemolytic GBS such as those lacking the hemolysin repressor CovR/S showed increased dissemination into the amniotic fluid and fetal organs such as the fetal lung and brain. These results are similar to those observed in mouse and non-human primate models of in utero infection, and support use of the guinea pig as a model for studying GBS infections in pregnancy.

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