A guinea pig model of low-dose Mycobacterium bovis aerogenic infection

Mark A. Chambers*, Ann Williams, Dolores Gavier-Widén, Adam Whelan, Catherine Hughes, Graham Hall, M. Stephen Lever, Philip D. Marsh, R. Glyn Hewinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In order to develop a model of Mycobacterium bovis infection with pathogenetical relevance, a modified version of the Henderson apparatus was used to deliver infectious aerosols directly to the snouts of guinea pigs. Aerosols generated from 106, 107, 108CFU/ml M. bovis suspensions established disease in every animal, with estimated retained doses of 10, 100, 1000CFU, respectively. For comparison, other guinea pigs were inoculated with 100CFU M. bovis intramuscularly (i.m.). Pathology and bacterial colonisation of lungs and spleen varied according to the dose and route of inoculation. Animals inoculated i.m. gave a significant cutaneous tuberculin hypersensitivity reaction earlier after testing than those infected aerogenically. A serological response to M. bovis antigens was detected in all infected animals. Intensity of antigen recognition was dose-dependent and although the range of antigens recognised varied between animals, a 25kDa antigen present in the cell fraction was serodominant. Thus, a reproducible guinea pig model has been defined that may be suitable for virulence, vaccination, and immunological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, GB. We thank Wendy Pressling, VLA Weybridge, for the western blotting of guinea pig serum and the Animal Services Units at VLA Weybridge and CAMR. All animal work was undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Home Office, UK and local Animal Care and Ethics Committees.


  • Airborne infection
  • Guinea pig model
  • Mycobacterium bovis


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