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J Infect Dis. 1980 Jul;142(1):56-66.

Bordetella pertussis respiratory tract infection in the mouse: pathophysiological responses.


The influence of living Bordetella pertussis on the induction and duration of pathophysiological reactions in mice infected intranasally with graded doses of culture was studied. Lethally infected mice showed loss of body weight, spleen atrophy, pronounced hypothermia and hypoglycemia, and highly elevated levels of leukocytes and serum immunoreactive insulin. Sublethally infected mice showed normal weight gain, practically normal temperature, spleen enlargement, lesser pronounced hypoglycemia, lower but significantly elevated levels of leukocytes and serum immunoreactive insulin, and histamine sensitization. Intensity of each reaction was related to the degree of lung infectivity. Hypothermia and leukocytosis were highly correlated. Concentration of serum immunoreactive insulin was closely related to the level of leukocytosis but not to the level of glucose. The strain and age of mice significantly affected the degree and duration of the reactions. The results suggest that the intranasally infected mouse may provide a useful model for investigations on whooping cough.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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