The responses of previously untested immunodeficient mouse strains to campylobacter infection are described. Three strains of adult immunodeficient mice (SCID-Beige, C.B-17-SCID-Beige and RAG-2) were inoculated intragastrically with NCTC 11168. All mice became heavily colonised, but none developed clinical signs of disease. Immunocompetent BALB/c mice inoculated similarly had much lower colonisation levels. The co-administration of iron dextran had no effect on colonisation levels nor the development of clinical signs of disease. In contrast, C.B-17-SCID-Beige mice, when inoculated with one of a series of 10 clinical isolates of , were more heavily colonised for extended periods (up to 5 months) and approximately 10-20% of the mice became ill with diarrhoea. was detected in mouse faeces throughout at levels of 10-10 cfu/g. All mice killed whilst ill with diarrhoea displayed histopathological lesions typical of human campylobacteriosis. Severe pathology was limited to the large intestine and was suggestive of an acute, bacteria-induced inflammation. Although blood was detected in the diarrhoeal stools, no evidence of mucosal epithelial cell invasion was found by immunohistology. No pathology was detected in tissue sections from any of the animals that had not developed signs of disease following inoculation. These immunodeficient mouse strains are readily, and heavily, colonised as adults by . The diarrhoea, although sporadic, was reproducibly produced, and could provide the basis for pathogenicity studies.


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