Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 9784 Views Jun 5, 2014
Enteric pathogenic bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) cause life-threatening diarrheal diseases that have afflicted humans for centuries. Understanding the effectors required for intestinal colonization is very important to research on bacteria pathogenesis, and is also important to testing new therapeutics and development of the novel vaccines. Here, we describe the Infant Rabbit Colonization Competition Assay, a variant method of the powerful, nonsurgical animal model reported by Ritchie et al. (2010). In our modified assay, wild type and mutant strains are mixed together and inoculated into 2-day-old New Zealand white rabbits. The competitive index for each mutant measures the colonization capacity of the mutant relative to its wild type parental strain in the gastrointestinal tract. Compared to the traditional Sucking Mice model, the clinical and histologic signs of Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae)-induced disease of infant rabbits more closely resemble human cholera. The larger input bacteria amount of this model also facilitates high-throughput screens, such as Tn-Seq technology (Fu et al., 2013).
0 Q&A 18770 Views Nov 20, 2013
The procedures described below are for producing gastric aspiration pneumonitis in mice with alterations for rats and rabbits described parenthetically. We use 4 different injury vehicles delivered intratracheally to investigate the inflammatory responses to gastric aspiration:
1) Normal saline (NS) as the injury vehicle control
2) NS + HCl, pH = 1.25 (acid)
3) NS + gastric particles, pH ≈ 5.3 (part.)
4) NS + gastric particles + HCl, pH = 1.25 (acid + part.)
The volume, pH, and gastric particle concentration all affect the resulting lung injury. In mice, we generally use an injury volume of 3.6 ml/kg (rat: 1.2 ml/kg, rabbit: 2.4 ml/kg), an injury pH (for the acid-containing vehicles) of 1.25, and a gastric particulate concentration (in the particulate-containing vehicles) of 10 mg/ml (rat: 40 mg/ml). In our hands this results in a maximal, non-lethal lung injury with ≤ 10% mortality for the most injurious vehicle (i.e., acid + part.) The maximum tolerable particulate concentration needs to be determined empirically for any new strains to be used, especially in genetically-altered mice, because an altered inflammatory response may have detrimental affects on mortality.
We have extensive experience utilizing these procedures in the outbred strain, CD-1, as well as many genetically-altered inbred stains on the C57BL/6 background. Choice of strain should be carefully considered, especially in terms of strain-specific immune bias, to assure proper data interpretation. The size of the mouse should be ≥ 20 g at the time of injury. Smaller mice can be attempted, if necessary, but the surgical manipulation becomes increasingly more difficult and the surgery survival rate decreases substantially. There are no size or strain constraints for rat and rabbit models, but we generally use Long-Evans rats at 250-300 g and New Zealand White rats at ≈ 2 kg at the time of initial injury.

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