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PloS one

Oropharyngeal aspiration of Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei in BALB/c mice.


PMID 25503969

Abstract

Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei are potentially lethal pathogens categorized as biothreat agents due, in part, to their ability to be disseminated via aerosol. There are no protective vaccines against these pathogens and treatment options are limited and cumbersome. Since disease severity is greatest when these agents are inhaled, efforts to develop pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis focus largely on inhalation models of infection. Here, we demonstrate a non-invasive and technically simple method for affecting the inhalational challenge of BALB/c mice with B. pseudomallei and B. mallei. In this model, two investigators utilized common laboratory tools such as forceps and a micropipette to conduct and characterize an effective and reproducible inhalational challenge of BALB/c mice with B. mallei and B. pseudomallei. Challenge by oropharyngeal aspiration resulted in acute disease. Additionally, 50% endpoints for B. pseudomallei K96243 and B. mallei ATCC 23344 were nearly identical to published aerosol challenge methods. Furthermore, the pathogens disseminated to all major organs typically targeted by these agents where they proliferated. The pro-inflammatory cytokine production in the proximal and peripheral fluids demonstrated a rapid and robust immune response comparable to previously described murine and human studies. These observations demonstrate that OA is a viable alternative to aerosol exposure.