Research Summary: Infertility as a Consequence of Spermagglutinating Staphylococcus aureus Colonization in Genital Tract of Female Mice


Various studies have shown Staphylococcus aureus to be one of the most prevalent organism in male and female genital tract but most practitioners dismiss it as mere contamination which is assumed to be of no significance. However, it is now suggested that the presence of this organism should not be ignored, as incubation of spermatozoa with S. aureus results in reduced sperm motility. Although S. aureus has been reported to cause immobilization of spermatozoa, however, its role in infertility has yet to be elucidated. The present study was designed to establish a spermagglutinating strain of S. aureus isolated from the cervix of a woman with unexplained infertility, in mouse and evaluate its effect on fertility outcome. Female Balb/c mice were inoculated intravaginally with different doses of S. aureus (104, 106 or 108cfu/20 µl) for 10 consecutive days. Microbial colonization monitored every 3rd day by vaginal cultures, revealed that strain could efficiently colonize mouse vagina. Mating on day 12, with proven breeder males led to 100% decrease in fertility as compared to control. Even a single dose of 106 or 108cfu could lead to vaginal colonization which persisted for 10 days followed by gradual clearing till 21 days, vaginal cultures were negative thereafter. Female mice mated on day 7 (culture positive), were rendered infertile, however, the mice mated on day 22 (culture negative), retained fertility and delivered pups indicating its role in provoking infertility. Further, except infertility, no other clinical manifestation could be seen apparently or histologically. However, when a non-spermagglutinating/immobilizing standard strain of S. aureus MTCC6625 was inoculated intravaginally at 108cfu for 10 days followed by mating on day 12, fertility was observed in all the female mice. This supports the hypothesis that infertility observed in the former groups was as a result of colonization with spermagglutinating strain of S. aureus.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 18-December-2012

Author(s): Kaur S., Prabha V.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *