Advanced animal models, such as minipigs, are needed for the development of a globally requested human Chlamydia vaccine. Previous studies have shown that vaginal inoculation of sexually mature Göttingen minipigs with Chlamydia trachomatis resulted in an infection lasting only 3-5 days. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of targeting the upper porcine genital tract by transcervical and transabdominal intrauterine inoculation, compared to previously performed vaginal inoculation. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of the hormonal cycle, estrus vs. diestrus, on the establishment of a C. trachomatis infection in the minipig. Targeting the upper genital tract (transcervical inoculation) resulted in a longer lasting infection (at least 7 days) compared to vaginal inoculation (3-5 days). When comparing intrauterine inoculation during estrus and diestrus, inoculation during diestrus resulted in a longer lasting infection (at least 10 days) compared to estrus (3-5 days). Furthermore, we found a significant C. trachomatis specific IFN-γ response in pigs inoculated during estrus correlating with the accelerated clearance of infection in these pigs. These findings suggest that for implementation of an optimal model of C. trachomatis in minipigs, inoculation should bypass the cervix and preferable be performed during diestrus.
Under a Creative Commons license.
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Minipig model
- Sexually transmitted disease