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Effect of time of exposure to rat coronavirus and Mycoplasma pulmonis on respiratory tract lesions in the Wistar rat.

  • M K Schunk
  • D H Percy
  • S Rosendal
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1995
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The effects of time of exposure on the progression of pulmonary lesions in rats inoculated with Mycoplasma pulmonis and the rat coronavirus, sialodacryoadenitis virus (SDAV) were studied, using six groups of 18 SPF Wistar rats (n = 108). Rats were inoculated intranasally as follows: Group 1, sterile medium only; Group 2, sterile medium followed one week later by 150 TCID50 SDAV; Group 3, sterile medium followed by 10(5.7) colony forming units of M. pulmonis; Group 4, SDAV followed one week later by M. pulmonis; Group 5, M. pulmonis followed one week later by SDAV; Group 6, M. pulmonis followed two weeks later by SDAV. Six rats from each group were euthanized at one, two and three weeks after the final inoculation. In a separate experiment, six additional animals were inoculated in each of groups 3, 5 and 6 (n = 18) and were sampled at five weeks after they had received M. pulmonis. Bronchoalveolar lavage and quantitative lung mycoplasma cultures were conducted on two-thirds of the rats. Histopathological examination and scoring of lesion severity were performed on all animals. Based on the prevalence and extent of histopathological lesions, bronchoalveolar lavage cell numbers, neutrophil differential cell counts and the isolation of M. pulmonis, the most severe disease occurred in the groups that received both agents. There was no significant difference in lesion severity between the groups receiving both agents other than in those examined during the acute stages of SDAV infection. Based on these results, it is evident that SDAV enhances lower respiratory tract disease in Wistar rats whether exposure occurs at one week prior to or at various intervals following M. pulmonis infections.

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