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Lab Anim. 2002 Jul;36(3):291-312.

Murine models of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection.

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Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2109 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106-4948, USA.


The animal model of chronic bronchopulmonary infection using agarose beads laden with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is frequently utilized in cystic fibrosis research, though it is challenging to perform it in mice. This paper reports the most successful methods for the creation of this model. Transtracheal insertion of a 22 G 1" over-the-needle intravenous catheter to preferentially inoculate the right mainstem bronchus using tribromoethanol anaesthesia administered i.p. was better for a successful surgical outcome compared, respectively, to the use of a 27 G (1/2)" needle, bilateral inoculation or an anaesthetic cocktail of xylazine, acepromazine and ketamine administered i.p. Bilateral infection was associated with higher mortality, greater weight loss and higher levels of bronchoalveolar cytokine concentration, compared to mice infected primarily in the right lung. Mucoid clinical strain PA M57-15 was preferred since mucoid clinical strain PA 2192 led to comparatively more severe lesions and higher mortality. Using the same operator for a given task reduced the variability inherent in this model, illustrated using outcome measures such as gross lung pathology. The response of mice inoculated with P. aeruginosa-laden agarose beads was characterized by bronchopulmonary inflammation, high production of cytokines, and significant weight loss; whereas the response to infection with free-living bacteria was characterized by pneumonia, lower production of cytokines and weight loss. The use of free P. aeruginosa pre-mixed with sterile agarose beads may be considered as an alternative to the use of P. aeruginosa-laden agarose beads, since the histopathological features were similar, though further characterization is needed to evaluate its utility as an adequate model of cystic fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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