The intranasal route was used to study infections in mice. Mice from two different inbred strains were challenged intranasally with and the level of local and systemic colonization was monitored. DBA/2 mice were highly susceptible to challenge and viable disseminated from the lungs to deeper tissues, including kidneys, liver and spleen within 48 h. In contrast, in BALB/c mice challenged in the same manner, were retained within the lungs and cleared. Local and systemic anti- immune responses were investigated. BALB/c mice exhibited higher titres of serum and mucosal anti- IgA than DBA/2 mice. Splenocytes from BALB/c mice, but not from DBA/2 mice, produced detectable levels of interleukin-4 and -5 following stimulation with antigens. Both DBA/2- and BALB/c-derived splenocytes produced interferon-γ and interleukin-10 in response to similar stimulation. In conclusion, the intranasal route provided a simple, non-invasive murine model for investigating infection through mucosal surfaces.


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