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Eur Respir J. 2010 Oct;36(4):901-6. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00176709. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

An experimental model of pneumonia induced by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in ventilated piglets.

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Servei de Pneumologia, Institut Clínic del Tòrax, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Villarroel 170, 08036, Barcelona, Spain.


The objectives of the study were to validate a model of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia in ventilated piglets and to study the time-course of biological markers and histopathological changes. 12 piglets were intubated and inoculated with 15 mL of a suspension of 10(6) colony forming units of MRSA in every lobe through the bronchoscope channel. The piglets were ventilated for 12 h (n = 6) and 24 h (n = 6). Clinical parameters were assessed every 6 h and pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured in serum and in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) at baseline and sacrifice. Histopathology of each lobe and cultures from blood, lungs and BAL were performed. Animals developed histopathological evidence of pneumonia at necropsy. At 12 h, pneumonia was present in all animals and was severe pneumonia at 24 h. Microbiological studies confirmed the presence of MRSA. A significant increase in interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and tumour necrosis factor-α values was seen in BAL at 24 h and IL-6 at 12 h. In serum, only IL-6 levels had increased significantly at 24 h. In ventilated piglets, bronchoscopic inoculation of MRSA induces pneumonia at 12 h and severe pneumonia at 24 h. This severity was associated with a corresponding increase in systemic and local inflammatory response.

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