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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 May 15;174(2):225-9.

Early colonization of the rat upper respiratory tract by temperature modulated Bordetella bronchiseptica.

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  • 1Avian and Swine Respiratory Diseases Research Unit, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


The ability of nonmodulated Bvg+ phase cultures, temperature modulated Bvg- phase cultures, and a Bvg- phase-locked mutant of Bordetella bronchiseptica to colonize the rat upper respiratory tract was investigated. Initially, greater numbers of the temperature modulated Bvg- phase bacteria adhered to the nasal cavity of the rats. The temperature modulated Bvg- phase bacteria appeared to be quickly cleared to levels lower than the Bvg+ phase bacteria by 4 h after inoculation and stayed lower until 48 h after inoculation when colonization levels were equal to the Bvg+ phase bacteria. The level of colonization with the Bvg- phase-locked mutant of B. bronchiseptica was lower than both the nonmodulated Bvg+ phase and temperature modulated Bvg- phase cultures and declined over time during the experiment. These findings suggest that there may be increased adherence from an environmental phase to ensure bacteria survive initial clearance mechanisms until the switch to the Bvg+ phase occurs.

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