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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jun 15;183(12):1781-6. Epub 2001 May 17.

Infection of mice with the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis after different routes of inoculation.

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Center for Comparative Medicine, Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Population kinetics of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (aoHGE) were examined after needle and tickborne inoculation of C3H mice. Blood, skin, lung, spleen, liver, kidney, brain, lymph node, and bone marrow samples were analyzed by using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at various intervals after inoculation, using a p44 gene target. The highest number of copies of the p44 gene target occurred in blood and bone marrow samples, emphasizing aoHGE leukocytotropism. Numbers of copies of the p44 gene target in other tissues reflected vascular perfusion rather than replication. Needle-inoculated infected mice had earlier dissemination, but kinetics of infection in both groups were parallel, with declining rates of infection by day 20 and recovery in some mice on days 20-60 after inoculation. On the basis of an aoHGE lysate ELISA, mice seroconverted by day 10 after inoculation. Therefore, real-time PCR is useful for quantitative studies with the aoHGE in experimental infections, and results showed that needle inoculation can be used to study the aoHGE infection because of its similarity to tickborne inoculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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