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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Generation of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Biofilm Infection in an Immunosuppressed Rat Model

Tangjuan Liu, Yan Chen, Guan Bi, Jin Luo, Zhongye Du, Jinliang Kong, Yiqiang Chen

(Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5803-5811

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907479


BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common pathogen responsible for many related infections, and immunosuppressed individuals are more susceptible. Its pathogenicity is associated with its virulence factors, resistance to antibiotics, and ability to form biofilm (BF). MRSA-BF infections in immunosuppressed patients pose great difficulties to clinical treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study aimed to establish a model of MRSA-BF infection in rats with cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced immunosuppression. For this, rats were administered CTX on days 1 and 4. White blood cells (WBC) were counted, then rats were inoculated with a clinical MRSA 17546 (t037) on day 5. Rats were sacrificed on days 6–10 and tissue samples were examined by scanning electron microscopy.
RESULTS: Using the dose of CTX: 150 (mg/kg) + 100 (mg/kg) is better than the other 2 programs as the survival rates of the immunocompromised rats were higher than in the other 2 immunosuppressive groups. The survival rate was not different between rats in the clean environment and in the SPF environment. However, the survival rate was affected by the sample acquisitions. Importantly, WBC counts started to decline on day 4, and then started to rise on day 9. Moreover, MRSA-BFs were formed earlier in immunosuppressed rats compared to the normal rats, as shown by scanning electron microscopy.
CONCLUSIONS: The study successfully established an immunosuppressed rat model of MRSA-BF infection, which provides methodological and data support for establishment of such animal models and is useful reference for related research. Our results may help further investigation of MRSA-BF infection.

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