Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) is a narrow-host-range microorganism, globally recognized as the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcus is a transient colonizer of human nasopharynx of approximately 10% of healthy subject. In particular circumstances, it acquires an invasive ability to penetrate the mucosal barrier and invades the bloodstream causing septicaemia. In the latest case, fulminating sepsis could arise even without the consequent development of meningitis. Conversely, bacteria could poorly multiply in the bloodstream, cross the blood brain barrier, reach the central nervous system, leading to fulminant meningitis. The murine models of bacterial meningitis represent a useful tool to investigate the host-pathogen interactions and to analyze the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for this lethal disease. Although, several experimental model systems have been evaluated over the last decades, none of these were able to reproduce the characteristic pathological events of meningococcal disease. In this experimental protocol, we describe a detailed procedure for the induction of meningococcal meningitis in a mouse model based on the intracisternal inoculation of bacteria. The peculiar signs of human meningitis were recorded in the murine host through the assessment of clinical parameters (e.g., temperature, body weight), evaluation of survival rate, microbiological analysis and histological examination of brain injury. When using intracisternal (i.cist.) inoculum, meningococci complete delivery directly into cisterna magna, leading to a very efficient meningococcal replication in the brain tissue. A 1,000-fold increase of viable count of bacteria is observed in about 18 h. Moreover, meningococci are also found in the spleen, and liver of infected mice, suggesting that the liver may represent a target organ for meningococcal replication.

Inducing meningococcal meningitis serogroup c in mice via intracisternal delivery

Pagliarulo C.;
2019

Abstract

Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) is a narrow-host-range microorganism, globally recognized as the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcus is a transient colonizer of human nasopharynx of approximately 10% of healthy subject. In particular circumstances, it acquires an invasive ability to penetrate the mucosal barrier and invades the bloodstream causing septicaemia. In the latest case, fulminating sepsis could arise even without the consequent development of meningitis. Conversely, bacteria could poorly multiply in the bloodstream, cross the blood brain barrier, reach the central nervous system, leading to fulminant meningitis. The murine models of bacterial meningitis represent a useful tool to investigate the host-pathogen interactions and to analyze the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for this lethal disease. Although, several experimental model systems have been evaluated over the last decades, none of these were able to reproduce the characteristic pathological events of meningococcal disease. In this experimental protocol, we describe a detailed procedure for the induction of meningococcal meningitis in a mouse model based on the intracisternal inoculation of bacteria. The peculiar signs of human meningitis were recorded in the murine host through the assessment of clinical parameters (e.g., temperature, body weight), evaluation of survival rate, microbiological analysis and histological examination of brain injury. When using intracisternal (i.cist.) inoculum, meningococci complete delivery directly into cisterna magna, leading to a very efficient meningococcal replication in the brain tissue. A 1,000-fold increase of viable count of bacteria is observed in about 18 h. Moreover, meningococci are also found in the spleen, and liver of infected mice, suggesting that the liver may represent a target organ for meningococcal replication.
Brain tissue; Immunology and Infection; Infection; Intra-cisternal injection; Isogenic mutant strain; issue 153; Meningococcal meningitis; Mouse models; Neisseria meningitidis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12070/44097
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