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Open Access Disseminated Trichosporonosis in a Murine Model of Chronic Granulomatous Disease

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Over a period of ten months, five mice submitted to our service (the Pathology Section of the Veterinary Resources Program, Office of Research Services at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.) were diagnosed with disseminated trichosporonosis. These mice had pyogranulomatous inflammation in multiple organs, including lung, liver, lymph nodes, salivary gland, and skin. Fungal elements in many of the lesions were identified, using special histochemical stains, and Trichosporon beigelii was obtained by use of culture of specimens at affected sites. This saprophytic fungus has caused disseminated disease in immunosuppressed humans. However, despite widespread use of immunosuppressed rodents in research, to the authors' knowledge, this organism had not previously been reported to cause spontaneous disseminated disease in laboratory mice. All affected mice had a genetically engineered defect in p47 phox , a critical component of the nicotinamide dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, the enzyme responsible for generating the phagocyte oxidative burst. These animals are used as a murine model of human chronic granulomatous disease. We discuss the lesions, differential diagnosis, identification of the organism, and the role of NADPH oxidase in protecting against disseminated trichosporonosis.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Veterinary Pathology Section, Veterinary Resources Program, Office of Research Services 2: Laboratory of Host Defenses, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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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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