Acute Brucella melitensis M16 infection model in mice treated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors
Introduction: There is limited data in the literature about brucellosis related to an intracellular pathogen and anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNFα) medication. The aim of this study was to evaluate acute Brucella infections in mice receiving anti-TNFα drug treatment.
Methodology: Anti-TNFα drugs were injected in mice on the first and fifth days of the study, after which the mice were infected with B. melitensis M16 strain. Mice were sacrificed on the fourteenth day after infection. Bacterial loads in the liver and spleen were defined, and histopathological changes were evaluated.
Results: Neither the liver nor the spleen showed an increased bacterial load in all anti-TNFα drug groups when compared to a non-treated, infected group. The most significant histopathological findings were neutrophil infiltrations in the red pulp of the spleen and apoptotic cells with hepatocellular pleomorphism in the liver. There was no significant difference among the groups in terms of previously reported histopathological findings, such as extramedullary hematopoiesis and granuloma formation.
Conclusions: There were no differences in hepatic and splenic bacterial load and granuloma formation, which indicate worsening of the acute Brucella infection in mice; in other words, anti-TNFα treatment did not exacerbate the acute Brucella spp. infection in mice.
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