Housing conditions modulate the severity of Mycoplasma pulmonis infection in mice deficient in class A scavenger receptor

Jennifer L. Booth, Todd M. Umstead, Sanmei Hu, Kevin F. Dybvig, Timothy K. Cooper, Ronald P. Wilson, Zissis C. Chroneos

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8 Scopus citations


Mycoplasmosis is a frequent causative microbial agent of community-acquired pneumonia and has been linked to exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The macrophage class A scavenger receptor (SRA) facilitates the clearance of noxious particles, oxidants, and infectious organisms by alveolar macrophages. We examined wildtype and SRA-/- mice, housed in either individually ventilated or static filter-top cages that were cycled with fresh bedding every 14 d, as a model of gene-environment interaction on the outcome of pulmonary Mycoplasma pulmonis infection. Intracage NH3 gas measurements were recorded daily prior to infection. Mice were intranasally infected with 1 × 107 cfu M. pulmonis UAB CT and evaluated at 3, 7, and 14 d after inoculation. Wildtype mice cleared 99.5% of pulmonary M. pulmonis by 3 d after infection but remained chronically infected through the study. SRA-/- mice were chronically infected with 40-fold higher mycoplasma numbers than were wildtype mice. M. pulmonis caused a chronic mixed inflammatory response that was accompanied with high levels of IL1β, KC, MCP1, and TNFα in SRA-/- mice, whereas pulmonary inflammation in WT mice was represented by a monocytosis with elevation of IL1β. Housing had a prominent influence on the severity and persistence of mycoplasmosis in SRA-/- mice. SRA-/- mice housed in static cages had an improved recovery and significant changes in surfactant proteins SPA and SPD compared with baseline levels. These results indicate that SRA is required to prevent chronic mycoplasma infection of the lung. Furthermore, environmental conditions may exacerbate chronic inflammation in M. pulmonis-infected SRA-/- mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-439
Number of pages16
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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