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XB-ART-57738
Int J Mol Sci January 15, 2021; 22 (2):

Developing Tadpole Xenopus laevis as a Comparative Animal Model to Study Mycobacterium abscessus Pathogenicity.

Lopez A , Shoen C , Cynamon M , Dimitrakopoulou D , Paiola M , Pavelka MS , Robert J .


Abstract
Mycobacterium abscessus (Mab) is an emerging, nontuberculosis mycobacterium (NTM) that infects humans. Mab has two morphotypes, smooth (S) and rough (R), related to the production of glycopeptidolipid (GPL), that differ in pathogenesis. To further understand the pathogenicity of these morphotypes in vivo, the amphibian Xenopus laevis was used as an alternative animal model. Mab infections have been previously modeled in zebrafish embryos and mice, but Mab are cleared early from immunocompetent mice, preventing the study of chronic infection, and the zebrafish model cannot be used to model a pulmonary infection and T cell involvement. Here, we show that X. laevis tadpoles, which have lungs and T cells, can be used as a complementary model for persistent Mab infection and pathogenesis. Intraperitoneal (IP) inoculation of S and R Mab morphotypes disseminated to tadpole tissues including liver and lungs, persisting for up to 40 days without significant mortality. Furthermore, the R morphotype was more persistent, maintaining a higher bacterial load at 40 days postinoculation. In contrast, the intracardiac (IC) inoculation with S Mab induced significantly greater mortality than inoculation with the R Mab form. These data suggest that X. laevis tadpoles can serve as a useful comparative experimental organism to investigate pathogenesis and host resistance to M. abscessus.

PubMed ID: 33467397
PMC ID: PMC7829954
Article link: Int J Mol Sci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis

Disease Ontology terms: bacterial infectious disease [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Alderwick, The Mycobacterial Cell Wall--Peptidoglycan and Arabinogalactan. 2016, Pubmed