A novel mouse model to study the virulence of and host response to Porphyromonas (Bacteroides) gingivalis

C. A. Genco, C. W. Cutler, D. Kapczynski, K. Maloney, R. R. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


We describe here the development of a mouse subcutaneous chamber model that allows for the examination of host-parasite interactions as well as the determination of gross pathology with Porphyromonas (Bacteroides) gingivalis challenge. When inoculated into stainless-steel chambers implanted subcutaneously in female BALB/c mice, P. gingivalis W83, W50, and A7436 (108 to 1010 CFU) caused cachexia, ruffling, general erythema and phlegmonous, ulcerated, necrotic lesions, and death. P. gingivalis W50/BEI, HG405, and 33277 (1010 CFU) produced localized abscesses in the mouse chamber model with rejection of chambers at the injection site. Analysis of chamber fluid from 33277-, HG405-, and W50/BEI-infected mice by cytocentrifugation revealed inflammatory cell debris, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and high numbers of dead bacteria. In contrast, fluid from A7436-, W50-, and W83-infected mice revealed infiltration predominantly of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and live bacteria. Bacteria were found primarily associated with polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the fluid from W50-, HG405-, and W83-infected mice but not from A7436-infected mice. Viable isolates were recoverable from the chamber fluid through day 3 for W50/BEI, day 5 for 33277, day 6 for HG405, day 7 for W50, day 14 for W83, and day 26 for A7436. All strains induced a systemic immunoglobulin G response in serum and chamber fluid samples. The use of this model will allow us to examine the virulence of P. gingivalis as defined by the interaction of host response to localized infection with P. gingivalis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1263
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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