Comparing C. muridarum with or without plasmid for their ability to spread to the GI tracts of CBA/1J mice following an intravaginal inoculation.

The experiments were carried out and the results were presented as described in Fig 1 legend above. The plasmid-competent C. muridarum organisms were inoculated into 5 while the plasmid-deficient to 10 mice. The data were collected from 2 independent experiments. Plasmid-deficient C. muridarum displayed significantly longer shedding from the mouse genital tracts (panel a, p<0.05, days to clearance, Wilcoxon rank sum) but the overall shedding courses were similar between plasmid-deficient and -competent C. muridarum (panels a & b, p>0.05, area under the curve, Wilcoxon rank sum). However, plasmid-deficient C. muridarum developed significantly delayed/reduced shedding courses in the GI tracts in terms of both the level of shedding (panel c, **p<0.01, area under the curve, Wilcoxon rank sum) and number of mice remaining positive for shedding (panel d, *p<0.05, areas under the curve, Wilcoxon rank sum).