A Porcine Model for Urinary Tract Infection

Thomas Kastberg Nielsen, Nicky Anúel Petersen, Kristian Stærk, Rasmus Birkholm Grønnemose, Yaseelan Palarasah, Lene Feldskov Nielsen, Hans Jørn Kolmos, Thomas Emil Andersen, Lars Lund

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common bacterial infectious disease with a high frequency of recurrence and the leading cause of septicemia. In vivo experimentation has contributed significantly to the present-day knowledge on UTI pathogenesis. This research has traditionally been based on murine models of UTI. Occasional conflicting results between UTI in mice and humans and increasing skepticism toward small rodent models in general warrant the need of novel large-animal infection models that better resemble the anatomy and physiology of humans, and thus better mimic the course of infection in humans. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first large-animal model of cystitis. The model is based on pigs, and the protocol supports the establishment of persistent, non-ascending infection in this animal and is established without invasive surgical procedures, pain, and discomfort for the animal. The course of infection is monitored by cystoscopy, microscopy of bladder biopsies, and biochemical analysis of urine and blood samples. At termination, harvested whole bladders from infected pigs are analyzed for microbiological colonization using microscopy, histology, and viable bacterial counts. The model is a useful tool in future studies of UTI pathogenesis and opens up novel possibilities to bridge the current knowledge obtained from small-animal UTI models to UTI pathogenesis in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2564
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberNOV
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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