Send to

Choose Destination
Mycopathologia. 1989 Dec;108(3):163-71.

Bronchoalveolar lavage in an immunosuppressed rabbit model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


A rabbit model of invasive aspergillosis has been used to investigate the pathogenesis of Aspergillus infection in the immunosuppressed host. The animals received hydrocortisone daily and a single dose of cyclophosphamide 2 days prior to intratracheal instillation of conidia from Aspergillus fumigatus. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed in 3 infected and 2 control saline treated animals sacrificed on days 1, 2, 4, 7 and 10 following inoculation. Infective load within the lung was quantified using an assay for chitin which is an important component of fungal cell walls (in particular the hyphal cell wall) and is not present in vertebrate tissue. The total BAL white cell count did not discriminate between infected and saline treated animals and Aspergillus was cultured from one lavage specimen only. Infected animals developed a marked neutrophil alveolitis by day 2 in contrast to a near total absence of neutrophils in the lavages of the control animals. Phagocytosis of conidia by alveolar macrophages was prominent but did not prevent progressive infection as confirmed by measurement of lung chitin. This pattern of cellular response within the alveolar airspace reflects the complex nature of the response to Aspergillus infection in the immunosuppressed host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center