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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2006 Sep;86(5):337-48. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Animal models of cavitation in pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 733 N. Broadway, Room 811, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Transmission of tuberculosis occurs with the highest frequency from patients with extensive, cavitary, pulmonary disease and positive sputum smear microscopy. In animal models of tuberculosis, the development of caseous necrosis is an important prerequisite for the formation of cavities although the immunological triggers for liquefaction are unknown. We review the relative merits and the information gleaned from the available animal models of pulmonary cavitation. Understanding the host-pathogen interaction important to the formation of cavities may lead to new strategies to prevent cavitation and thereby, block transmission.

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