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Open Access Bacterial Infections in Myd88-Deficient Mice

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Abstract:

Three breeding colonies of Myd88–/– mice had a history of significant morbidity and mortality. Although strain-specific poor reproductive performance might explain neonatal death and dystocia, mice were found dead or required euthanasia because of moribundity, distended abdomen, head tilt, and seizures. Histopathology results included bacteremia, placentitis, metritis, peritonitis with abscess formation, and suppurative meningoencephalitis. Intralesional gram-negative coccobacilli were present, often in extremely high number. Cultures of samples of the cardiac blood of a mouse and from water-bottle sipper tubes provided to some affected mice grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, affected tissues from 2 mice and feces from a third tested PCR-positive for P. aeruginosa. Although the mice had received autoclaved reverse-osmosis–purified drinking water, we suspect that the mice were inoculated with P. aeruginosa through contaminated sipper tubes. Because of the deficiency in most of the Toll-like receptor signaling pathways, these Myd88–/– mice were unlikely to have developed competitive innate and adaptive immune responses, resulting in bacterial infections. These clinical cases underscore the importance of understanding how genotype, phenotype and environment affect animal health. Sound husbandry and experimental practices are needed to prevent the exposure of immuno-deficient mice to pathogens.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Animal Resources Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA; Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. jvillano@med.umich.edu 2: Departmen of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 3: Department of Comparative Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Publication date: 2014-04-01

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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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