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Open Access Transoral Intratracheal Inoculation Method for Use with Neonatal Rats

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Background and Purpose: Studying the effects of toxic and infective compounds on the respiratory system requires a reliable method for delivering inoculum into the distal region of the lung. Although transoral intratracheal inoculation methods have been well documented for adult rats, to the authors' knowledge, a reliable method has not been validated for neonatal rats. The purpose of the study reported here was to develop a simple method for transoral inoculation in rat neonates.

Methods: Seven-day-old Fischer 344 rats were anesthetized with halothane, and a spinal needle was inserted in the tracheal lumen, by use of illumination and a modified otoscope. Meconium was injected into the lungs as a marker, and the neonates were kept under close observation. After euthanasia at 24 h, lungs were removed and fixed in formalin, and the microscopic distribution of the inoculum was assessed in the left, right cranial, middle, median, and caudal lung lobes.

Results: Microscopic examination of lungs indicated that intratracheal inoculation was achieved in 100% of neonatal lungs and the inoculum was consistently distributed in the alveoli of all pulmonary lobes. Important complications or mortality were not observed in the neonates.

Conclusions: Intratracheal inoculation of neonatal rats is possible by use of a modified otoscope for transoral illumination. This technique is simple and reproducible and ensures, without complications, widespread distribution of inoculum in the lungs of neonatal rats.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Pathology and Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada C1A 4P3 2: Companion Animals, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada C1A 4P3

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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