Effects of age and ambient temperature of the response of infant mice to heat-stable enterotoxin of Escherichia coli: assay modifications

H. W. Moon, P. Y. Fung, S. C. Whipp, R. E. Isaacson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The response of infant mice to heat-stable enterotoxin from Escherichia coli was affected by the age of the mice (2, 4, 6, and 8 days) and by the ambient temperature (25, 30, and 37°C) after exposure to the enterotoxin. The younger mice and/or mice held at lower temperatures tended to accumulate intestinal fluid (high gut weight/body weight ratios), but older mice and/or mice held at higher temperatures tended to respond with diarrhea and had low gut weight/body weight ratios. The standard infant mouse assay for heat-stable E. coli enterotoxin can be simplified, without loss of sensitivity or reliability, by holding the mice at 37°C after exposure and using diarrhea as the index of response. Diarrhea can be detected easily by incorporating dye in the inocula and (at the end of the assay) checking for dye mixed with feces on the rear quarters of the mice or on a sheet of white paper placed under them during incubation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

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