Rat Strains Differ in Antibody Response to Streptobacillus moniliformis

  • R Boot Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment
  • L Van den Berg Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment
  • H A van Lith Division Animal Welfare & Laboratory Animal Science, Department of Animals in Science and Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, and Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Centre Utrecht

Abstract

Rats are the natural host of Streptobacillus moniliformis. The bacterium is zoonotic which is an obvious  reason for periodic monitoring of rat colonies for S. moniliformis infection. This may be done by measuring  antibodies to the bacterium by for instance the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Inbred rat  strains can significantly differ in antibody response to viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. We tested the  hypothesis that in rats the antibody response to S. moniliformis is under genetic control. Rats of 6 inbred  strains were intranasally and orally dosed with the bacterium and monitored for the development of antibodies  by ELISA. 

Rats of all strains rapidly seroconverted to the bacterium. The rat strains differed significantly in final  antibody activities and seroconversion rates. WKY and SHR rats were high responders, BN and F344 rats  were low responders and LEW and BD rats were intermediate both in antibody development and seroconversion. 

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