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J Med Microbiol. 2010 Sep;59(Pt 9):1101-6. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.021089-0. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Different outcomes of experimental leptospiral infection in mouse strains with distinct genotypes.

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Gonçalo Moniz Research Centre, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Ministry of Health, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


The mouse disease model has the advantage of a broad array of immunological and genetic tools available for basic research. Some studies on transgenic and/or mutant mouse strains as models for experimental leptospirosis have been reported; however, the wider use of such models is hampered by a poor understanding of the outcome of experimental leptospiral infection among the different mouse strains available. Here, the outcome of infection by a virulent strain of Leptospira interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae strain Cop was studied in four commonly used wild-type mouse strains: A, CBA, BALB/c and C57BL/6. The end points evaluated in this study were survival, presence of kidney lesions, leptospiral load in kidney samples, microscopic agglutination test titre and anti-leptospiral IgG antibody levels. As expected, none of the mouse strains were susceptible to lethal leptospirosis. However, these strains developed specific pathologies associated with sublethal leptospirosis. The A and C57BL/6 strains exhibited a high leptospiral load in kidney samples and the CBA and C57BL/6 strains developed severe inflammatory lesions, whilst the BALB/c strain proved to be the most resistant to subclinical leptospirosis.

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