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Experimental mycobacterial infection in congenitally athymic nude mice

Experimental mycobacterial infection in congenitally athymic nude mice

RES Journal of the Reticuloendothelial Society 19(2): 77-90

Nude (nu/nu) and heterozygous (nu/+) littermate mice were infected with 3 strains of mycobacteria: Mycobacterium bovis strain Ravenel, M. bovis BCG and M. avium strain Flamingo. Growth curves of these mycobacteria in various organs and the production of lesions in the liver and other organs were examined. A higher bacterial count was observed in the organs of nu/nu mice compared to nu/+ mice 12-17 days following Ravenel infection and 28 days following BCG infection, suggesting that a restriction of bacterial growth began in nu/+ mice by this time. Following infection with M. avium, no difference in growth curves was seen between nu/nu and nu/+ mice within in experimental period (56 days). In nude mice granuloma formation was poor and the lesions were characterized by necrotic-exudative changes after infection with M. bovis Ravenel or a proliferation of bacilli-loaded cells after BCG infection. Growth inhibition of both M. bovis strains in the liver seemed to be correlated with the development of granulomas in this organ. After infection with M. avium well-developed granulomas were seen in the liver of nu/+; very poor granuloma formation was seen in nu/nu mice. This suggested a lack of correlation between growth inhibition of organisms and granuloma formation in avian type tubercle bacillus infections in mice. [The role of thymus-dependent lymphocytes in mycobacterial infection is emphasized.].

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Accession: 005424636

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PMID: 772204

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