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A/J Mice Are Susceptible and C57BL/6 Mice Are Resistant to Listeria monocytogenes Infection by Intragastric Inoculation

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Host Response And Inflammation
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Previous studies demonstrated that the innate resistance of mice to Listeria monocytogenes infection by intravenous or intraperitoneal inoculation is regulated principally by the Hc locus on mouse chromosome 2. The A/J and C57BL/6 mouse strains were identified as prototype L. monocytogenes-susceptible and -resistant strains, respectively. In the present study, we compared the relative susceptibilities of A/J and C57BL/6 mice to intragastric (i.g.) inoculation with L. monocytogenes. The results of our study indicate that A/J mice are significantly more susceptible than C57BL/6 mice to an i.g. challenge with L. monocytogenes. This was reflected in the estimated 50% lethal doses for the two strains (106 and 108 CFU for A/J and C57BL/6 mice, respectively) and a more rapid and severe dissemination of the infection to the spleen and liver in A/J mice than in C57BL/6 mice. Histopathological examination of tissues from the infected mice confirmed the greater severity of disease in A/J mice. Clearance of a primary infection enhanced the resistance of both A/J and C57BL/6 mice to reinfection with L. monocytogenes via the gastrointestinal tract. However, the relative difference in susceptibility between the two strains was evident even after immunization. The A/J mouse holds promise as a model for investigating the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal listeriosis because of its ability to develop systemic infection following challenge with numbers of organisms similar to those recovered from some L. monocytogenes-contaminated food products.

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