Chapter 36 : Animal Models of Tuberculosis

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Testing of drugs or vaccines in animal models prior to studies in the human population are essential to avoid safety problems in the field. In this chapter, the mouse, guinea pig, rabbit, and nonhuman primate models are discussed. Each model has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of the most appropriate model for a study depends on a variety of factors, including cost, available housing, and the question being addressed. The mouse model provides an economical and easily manipulated tool with which to determine the role of specific host or bacterial components in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. The development of a chronic infection is common to most mammals infected with . One important factor in using the aerosol model to assess the pathogenesis of is the use of bacterial cultures with high viability. Caseous necrosis in the form of small, spherical tubercles is a hallmark of human tuberculosis; indeed, it is the pathologic entity from which the disease derives its name. Nonhuman primates have been used in tuberculosis research for many decades, although cost and containment requirements have reduced the use of this model substantially in the last 30 years. The increasing sophistication of the animal models will lead the way to new findings of great importance in tuberculosis.

Citation: Flynn J, Cooper A, Bishai W. 2005. Animal Models of Tuberculosis, p 547-560. In Cole S, Eisenach K, McMurray D, Jacobs, Jr. W (ed), Tuberculosis and the Tubercle Bacillus. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817657.ch36
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Figure 1

Course of infection in mice. C57BL/6 mice were infected with ∼50 CFU of via an aerosolization chamber. At various times postinfection, the mice were euthanized and lung CFU were determined by plating homogenates on 7H10 plates. The acute phase lasts for up to 2 months postinfection, and the chronic phase begins after 3 months of infection. An arrow designates the time point where an interruption in the immune response could be experimentally performed to study reactivation of the infection.

Citation: Flynn J, Cooper A, Bishai W. 2005. Animal Models of Tuberculosis, p 547-560. In Cole S, Eisenach K, McMurray D, Jacobs, Jr. W (ed), Tuberculosis and the Tubercle Bacillus. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817657.ch36
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