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Infect Immun. 2000 Apr;68(4):2386-9.

Induction of emetic, pyrexic, and behavioral effects of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B in the ferret.

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  • 1Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, CBD Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 OJQ, United Kingdom.


Ferrets which had been orally dosed with 5 mg of Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) responded with an increase in subcutaneous temperature. At 75 min, the subcutaneous temperature was significantly higher (+ 0.9 degrees C +/- 0.38 degrees C, P < 0.007) than in control animals. Animals dosed with 1 or 2 mg of SEB responded with a small, but not significant, increase in subcutaneous temperature. All of the animals dosed with 5 mg of SEB retched and vomited. The mean latency for the onset of retching was 105 +/- 36 min, and the mean latency for the onset of vomiting was 106 +/- 34 min. The mean number of retches was 17.8 +/- 19.6, and the mean number of vomits was 2.0 +/- 1.5. These findings indicate that ferrets can be used as alternatives to primates for the study of the biological activities of SEB.

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