Comparative pathology of experimental pulmonary tuberculosis in animal models

Laura Hunter*, Inés Ruedas-Torres, Irene Agulló-Ros, Emma Rayner, Francisco J. Salguero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Research in human tuberculosis (TB) is limited by the availability of human tissues from patients, which is often altered by therapy and treatment. Thus, the use of animal models is a key tool in increasing our understanding of the pathogenesis, disease progression and preclinical evaluation of new therapies and vaccines. The granuloma is the hallmark lesion of pulmonary tuberculosis, regardless of the species or animal model used. Although animal models may not fully replicate all the histopathological characteristics observed in natural, human TB disease, each one brings its own attributes which enable researchers to answer specific questions regarding TB immunopathogenesis. This review delves into the pulmonary pathology induced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) bacteria in different animal models (non-human primates, rodents, guinea pigs, rabbits, cattle, goats, and others) and compares how they relate to the pulmonary disease described in humans. Although the described models have demonstrated some histopathological features in common with human pulmonary TB, these data should be considered carefully in the context of this disease. Further research is necessary to establish the most appropriate model for the study of TB, and to carry out a standard characterisation and score of pulmonary lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1264833
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Hunter, Ruedas-Torres, Agulló-Ros, Rayner and Salguero.


  • animal models
  • granuloma
  • lung
  • mycobacteria
  • pathology
  • tuberculosis


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