PMID: 7992856Dec 1, 1994Paper

Replicative Legionella pneumophila lung infection in intratracheally inoculated A/J mice. A murine model of human Legionnaires' disease

The American Journal of Pathology
J BrielandC Engleberg

Abstract

The role of host immune responses in the pathogenesis of Legionnaires' disease is incompletely understood, due in part to the current lack of an animal model that is both susceptible to replicative Legionella pneumophila-induced lung infection and for which species-specific immunological reagents are available. We have developed a model of replicative L. pneumophila lung infection in intratracheally inoculated A/J mice. L. pneumophila was obtained in the exponential growth phase and inoculated into the trachea of 6- to 8-week-old female A/J mice. Microbiological and histopathological evidence of infection was demonstrated in mice inoculated with 10(6) colony-forming units. Development of an acute pneumonia that resembled human Legionnaires' disease coincided with exponential growth of the bacteria in the lung 24 to 48 hours after intratracheal inoculation of L. pneumophila. This was associated with increased plasma levels of interferon-gamma at 24 hours after inoculation. After 48 hours, the bacteria were gradually eliminated from the lung over the next 5 days, corresponding with resolution of the inflammatory response in the lung, thereby mimicking the outcome frequently seen in the immunocompetent human host. Treatment of ani...Continue Reading

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