Mycoplasma pneumoniaePneumonia in a Mouse Model

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To investigate the pathogenesis of acute Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, BALB/c mice were anesthetized with metofane, and M. pneumoniae was introduced intranasally on days 0, 1, and 2. Mice were sacrificed on days 0-15. A histopathologic scoring system defined inflammatory changes in the lungs on a scale of 0-26 (least to most severe). Broth cultures were positive for all nasal passage and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens. Histopathologic scores ranged from 0 to 21. The mean log10 (cfu/mL) were 4.1-6.4 on days 1-10 and ≥1.7 on days 13-15 for nasal passage and BAL specimens. Serum polymerase chain reaction was negative. ELISA for serum IgM and immunoblots for M. pneumoniae antibody were positive in 21 (62%) of 34 and 33 (97%) of 34 infected animals, respectively, at days 8-15. ELISA for IgG antibody was negative. This mouse pneumonia model can be used to study the immunologic and therapeutic responses to acute M. pneumoniae infection.

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