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Open Access An Experimental Model of Actinobacillus suis Infection in Mice

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Abstract:

Actinobacillus suis is an opportunistic pathogen of high health status swine and is associated with fatal septicemia, especially in neonatal pigs. A practical model of A. suis is unavailable currently. However, some evidence suggests that A. suis can infect nonporcine species. We therefore hypothesized that a mouse model of A. suis infection might be possible. To test this idea, we challenged CD1 mice with 3 strains of A. suis (2 porcine [SO4 and H91-0380] and 1 feline [96-2247]) by intranasal and intraperitoneal routes. We also evaluated the effects of coadministration of hemoglobin and immunosuppression by dexamethasone on the susceptibility of mice to A. suis infection. The feline and H91-0380 porcine strains induced clinical signs of acute disease and necrotizing pneumonia in mice similar to those seen in pigs. Although few bacteria were recovered, dissemination of A. suis was widespread. Generally, mice infected with the feline A. suis isolate had more severe clinical signs and higher bacterial titers than did mice infected with either of the porcine strains. Pretreatment of the mice with dexamethasone or addition of 2% porcine hemoglobin to the challenge inoculum appeared to hasten the onset of clinical signs by the porcine strains but had no significant effect on moribundity. These experiments demonstrate that mice can be infected with A. suis and subsequently develop pneumonia and bacteremia comparable to that seen in pigs, suggesting that mice may be used as a model for studying infection in swine.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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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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