Mice, microbes and models of infection

Hannover Medical School, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany
Nature Reviews Genetics (Impact Factor: 36.98). 04/2003; 4(3):195-205. DOI: 10.1038/nrg1019
Source: PubMed


We urgently need animal models to study infectious disease. Mice are susceptible to a similar range of microbial infections as humans. Marked differences between inbred strains of mice in their response to pathogen infection can be exploited to analyse the genetic basis of infections. In addition, the genetic tools that are available in the laboratory mouse, and new techniques to monitor the expression of bacterial genes in vivo, make it the principal experimental animal model for studying mechanisms of infection and immunity.

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Available from: Rudi Balling
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    • "More than 200 commercially available, phylogenetically diverse inbred mouse strains that contain enough genetic diversity to identify major differences in response to a specific infection are available [14]. These resources have been extensively used to identify cellular and molecular factors that may contribute to different disease pathogenesis and to analyze the effect of multiple contributing genetic loci influencing disease phenotype with different pathogens [10], [12], [15], [16][17]. Successful stories included gene mapping for a large number of pathogens like bacteria (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common cause of healthcare-associated infections including pneumonia, bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical site infections. The clinical outcome of P. aeruginosa infections may be extremely variable among individuals at risk and patients affected by cystic fibrosis. However, risk factors for P. aeruginosa infection remain largely unknown. To identify and track the host factors influencing P. aeruginosa lung infections, inbred immunocompetent mouse strains were screened in a pneumonia model system. A/J, BALB/cJ, BALB/cAnNCrl, BALB/cByJ, C3H/HeOuJ, C57BL/6J, C57BL/6NCrl, DBA/2J, and 129S2/SvPasCRL mice were infected with P. aeruginosa clinical strain and monitored for body weight and mortality up to seven days. The most deviant survival phenotypes were observed for A/J, 129S2/SvPasCRL and DBA/2J showing high susceptibility while BALB/cAnNCrl and C3H/HeOuJ showing more resistance to P. aeruginosa infection. Next, one of the most susceptible and resistant mouse strains were characterized for their deviant clinical and immunological phenotype by scoring bacterial count, cell-mediated immunity, cytokines and chemokines profile and lung pathology in an early time course. Susceptible A/J mice showed significantly higher bacterial burden, higher cytokines and chemokines levels but lower leukocyte recruitment, particularly neutrophils, when compared to C3H/HeOuJ resistant mice. Pathologic scores showed lower inflammatory severity, reduced intraluminal and interstitial inflammation extent, bronchial and parenchymal involvement and diminished alveolar damage in the lungs of A/J when compared to C3H/HeOuJ. Our findings indicate that during an early phase of infection a prompt inflammatory response in the airways set the conditions for a non-permissive environment to P. aeruginosa replication and lock the spread to other organs. Host gene(s) may have a role in the reduction of cell-mediated immunity playing a critical role in the control of P. aeruginosa infection. These results now provide a basis for mapping genomic regions underlying host susceptibility to P. aeruginosa infection.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Extensive transcriptional regulation underlies macrophage responses to toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling [1]. Differential transcriptional activity in response to TLR signaling tailors macrophage responses to different pathogens [2-8]. See [9] for a review. "
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    ABSTRACT: As part of a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded collaborative project, we have performed over 150 microarray experiments measuring the response of C57/BL6 mouse bone marrow macrophages to toll-like receptor stimuli. These microarray expression profiles are available freely from our project web site Here, we report the development of a database of computationally predicted transcription factor binding sites and related genomic features for a set of over 2000 murine immune genes of interest. Our database, which includes microarray co-expression clusters and a host of web-based query, analysis and visualization facilities, is available freely via the internet. It provides a broad resource to the research community, and a stepping stone towards the delineation of the network of transcriptional regulatory interactions underlying the integrated response of macrophages to pathogens. We constructed a database indexed on genes and annotations of the immediate surrounding genomic regions. To facilitate both gene-specific and systems biology oriented research, our database provides the means to analyze individual genes or an entire genomic locus. Although our focus to-date has been on mammalian toll-like receptor signaling pathways, our database structure is not limited to this subject, and is intended to be broadly applicable to immunology. By focusing on selected immune-active genes, we were able to perform computationally intensive expression and sequence analyses that would currently be prohibitive if applied to the entire genome. Using six complementary computational algorithms and methodologies, we identified transcription factor binding sites based on the Position Weight Matrices available in TRANSFAC. For one example transcription factor (ATF3) for which experimental data is available, over 50% of our predicted binding sites coincide with genome-wide chromatin immnuopreciptation (ChIP-chip) results. Our database can be interrogated via a web interface. Genomic annotations and binding site predictions can be automatically viewed with a customized version of the Argo genome browser. We present the Innate Immune Database (IIDB) as a community resource for immunologists interested in gene regulatory systems underlying innate responses to pathogens. The database website can be freely accessed at
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · BMC Immunology
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    • "The utility of employing the mouse as a model for human disease is well documented [6-9]. Traditional methods of site-directed in vivo mutagenesis are tedious and require prior knowledge of gene function and location [10]. "
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