An optimized swine dysentery murine model to characterize shedding and clinical disease associated with "Brachyspira hampsonii" infection

Courtney E. Ek, Roman Nosach, Champika Fernando, Yanyun Huang, Jason Byron D.S. Perez, Matheus O. Costa, Samantha Ekanayake, Janet E. Hill, John C.S. Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The development of a mouse model as an in vivo pathogenicity screening tool for Brachyspira spp. has advanced the study of these economically important pathogens in recent years. However, none of the murine models published to date have been used to characterize the clinical signs of disease in mice, instead focusing on pathology following oral inoculation with various Brachyspira spp. The experiments described herein explore modifications of published models to characterize faecal consistency, faecal shedding and pathology in mice challenged with "Brachyspira hampsonii" clade II (Bhamp). Methods and results: In Experiment 1, 24 CF-1 mice were randomly allocated to one of three inoculation groups: sham (Ctrl), Bhamp, or B. hyodysenteriae (Bhyo; positive control). Half of each group was fed normal mouse chow (RMH) while the other received a low-zinc diet (TD85420). In Experiment 2, eight CF-1 mice and nine C3H/HeN mice were divided into Ctrl or Bhamp inoculation groups, and all fed TD85420. In Experiment 1, mice fed TD85420 demonstrated more severe mucoid faeces (P=0.001; Kruskal Wallis) and faecal shedding for a significantly greater number of days (P=0.005; Kruskal Wallis). Mean faecal scores of Bhamp inoculated mice trended higher than Ctrl (P=0.06; Wilcoxon rank-sum) as did those of Bhyo mice (P=0.0; Wilcoxon rank-sum). In Experiment 2, mean faecal scores of inoculated CF-1 mice were significantly greater than in C3H mice (P=0.049; Kruskal Wallis) but no group differences in faecal shedding were observed. In both experiments, mice clustered based on the severity of colonic and caecal histopathology but high lesion scores were not always concurrent with high fecal scores. Conclusion: In our laboratory, CF-1 mice and the lower-zinc TD85420 diet provide a superior murine challenge model of "Brachyspira hampsonii" clade II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number261
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 22 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • "Brachyspira hampsonii"
  • Brachyspira hyodysenteriae
  • C3H
  • CF-1
  • Inoculation
  • Mouse
  • Swine dysentery
  • TD85420
  • Typhlocolitis


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