We describe a novel mouse model of acute staphylococcal pneumonia induced by intravenous injection of Staphylococcus aureus enmeshed in agar beads. For comparison, we also used various strains of bacteria, including three strains of S. aureus, two strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis, one strain of Streptococcus pyogenes, three strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and one strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae. All except two strains of S. aureus were cleared rapidly from the lungs. When S. aureus NUMR1 enmeshed in agar beads was injected intravenously, the organisms concentrated and remained in the lung for a period longer than several weeks. Multiple lung abscesses were evident macroscopically, and histological examination of the infected lung showed multiple lung abscesses around the pulmonary arterioles, consisting of bacterial colonies encircled with fibrin filaments and surrounded by inflammatory cells of neutrophils and macrophages. When 14 strains of clinically isolated S. aureus were injected intravenously, the number of bacteria recovered from the lung tissue 7 days after infection correlated with the titer of staphylocoagulase (P < 0.01) but not with the titer of clumping factor. Injection of coagulase-deficient mutant strain DU5843 was associated with a markedly reduced number of viable bacteria isolated from the lung, compared with its coagulase-positive parental strain DU5789. Our results suggest that coagulase may play a role in the development of blood- borne staphylococcal pneumonia in our model. Our animal model is simple and reproducible and resembles blood-borne staphylococcal pneumonia in humans, and it could be useful for investigating the pathogenicity or treatment of staphylococcal pulmonary infection, including infections with methicillin- resistant S. aureus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases