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Animal Models of Enterohemorrhagic Infection

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  • Author: Jennifer M. Ritchie1
  • Editors: Vanessa Sperandio2, Carolyn J. Hovde3
    Affiliations: 1: School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom; 2: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX; 3: University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
  • Source: microbiolspec August 2014 vol. 2 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0022-2013
  • Received 02 December 2013 Accepted 09 December 2013 Published 15 August 2014
  • Jennifer M. Ritchie, [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    The first major outbreaks caused by enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) raised public and medical awareness of the risks associated with acquiring this potentially deadly infection. The widespread presence of these organisms in the environment, the severity of the clinical sequelae, and the lack of treatment options and effective preventive measures demand that we obtain a better understanding of how this group of organisms cause disease. Animal models allow study of the processes and factors that contribute to disease and, as such, form a valuable tool in the repertoire of infectious disease researchers. Yet despite more than 30 years of research, it seems that no single model host reproduces the full spectrum of clinical disease induced by EHEC in humans. In the first part of this review, a synopsis of what is known about EHEC infections is garnered from human outbreaks and biopsy specimens. The main features and limitations of EHEC infection models that are based on the three most commonly used species (pigs, rabbits, and mice) are described within a historical context. Recent advances are highlighted, and a brief overview of models based on other species is given. Finally, the impact of the host on moderating EHEC infection is considered in light of growing evidence for the need to consider the biology and virulence strategies of EHEC in the context of its niche within the intestine.

  • Citation: Ritchie J. 2014. Animal Models of Enterohemorrhagic Infection. Microbiol Spectrum 2(4):EHEC-0022-2013. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0022-2013.


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The first major outbreaks caused by enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) raised public and medical awareness of the risks associated with acquiring this potentially deadly infection. The widespread presence of these organisms in the environment, the severity of the clinical sequelae, and the lack of treatment options and effective preventive measures demand that we obtain a better understanding of how this group of organisms cause disease. Animal models allow study of the processes and factors that contribute to disease and, as such, form a valuable tool in the repertoire of infectious disease researchers. Yet despite more than 30 years of research, it seems that no single model host reproduces the full spectrum of clinical disease induced by EHEC in humans. In the first part of this review, a synopsis of what is known about EHEC infections is garnered from human outbreaks and biopsy specimens. The main features and limitations of EHEC infection models that are based on the three most commonly used species (pigs, rabbits, and mice) are described within a historical context. Recent advances are highlighted, and a brief overview of models based on other species is given. Finally, the impact of the host on moderating EHEC infection is considered in light of growing evidence for the need to consider the biology and virulence strategies of EHEC in the context of its niche within the intestine.

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Comparative murine models of EHEC-mediated disease

Source: microbiolspec August 2014 vol. 2 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0022-2013
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Comparative models of EHEC-mediated disease in species other than pigs, rabbits, and mice

Source: microbiolspec August 2014 vol. 2 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0022-2013

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