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Microbiol Immunol. 1992;36(5):465-78.

Definition and application of a histopathological scoring scheme for an animal model of acute Mycoplasma pneumoniae pulmonary infection.

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1
Division of Medical Microbiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

A histopathological scoring system was developed to assess the pathology of acute Mycoplasma pneumoniae pulmonary infection in a hamster model. A final score per animal (ranging 0-26) is obtained by averaging scores from each lung which have been accumulated by the addition of subscores from the assessments of quantity and quality of peribronchiolar and peribronchial infiltrates, luminal exudates, perivascular infiltrates, and parenchymal pneumonia. The scoring scheme was then applied to test the ability of a heat-killed inoculum to induce pulmonary pathology and to the trial of a 43 kDa protein-associated antigen as a vaccine immunogen. A heat-killed inoculum delivered by both intratracheal and intranasal routes did not induce pulmonary pathology compared to a live inoculum (respective mean scores 0.1, 6.7; P less than 0.01). Animals prevaccinated with the 43 kDa antigen developed an accentuated pathological response after live challenge compared to those unvaccinated (respective mean scores 16.8, 5.8; P = 0.00007). Hypersensitization to growth medium components may, however, have contributed to the accentuated disease since the lungs of vaccinated animals challenged with culture-negative media also were affected (mean score 5.4). Reproducibility of the scoring system was measured by duplicate reading of histology slides which were randomized to the observer upon the second reading (r = 0.93; P = 0.000009). The scoring system has the ability to differentiate disease severity in small groups of animals.

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