Characterization of Oral Yersinia enterocolitica Infection in Three Different Strains of Inbred Mice

Scott A. Handley, Peter H. Dube, Paula A. Revell, Virginia L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Several studies have highlighted differences in the resistances of various mouse strains to intravenous (i.v.) infection with Yersinia enterocolitica. In particular, differences in resistance and immunological response between BALB/c and C57BL/6 mouse strains have been determined. Following i.v infection, C57BL/ 6 mice are more resistant to Y. enterocolitica than are BALB/c mice. However, because Y. enterocolitica is typically a food-borne pathogen, the oral route of infection more accurately reflects the natural route of infection. Therefore, it was of interest to ascertain if the differences in resistance between mouse strains observed for an i.v. infection can be recapitulated following an oral infection. C57BL/6j, BALB/cj, and 129X1/Svj mouse strains presented no differences in 50% lethal dose (LD50) following oral infection with Y. enterocolitica. Subsequent analysis of cytokine levels, bacterial colonization and immune cell populations following oral infection confirmed characteristics previously described following i.v. Y. enterocolitica infection. All tissues analyzed from each mouse strain demonstrated a polarized Thl cytokine profile and inflammatory cell influx throughout a 7-day course of infection. This immune response was present in all tissues and increased as bacterial colonization progressed. The lack of a differing LD50 phenotype and common trends in immunological response among the three mouse strains tested suggests that oral infection is a useful model for studying the host response to Y. enterocolitica infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645-1656
Number of pages12
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


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