Relapses after stopping chemotherapy for experimental tuberculosis in genetically resistant and susceptible strains of mice

H. F. Lecoeur, P. H. Lagrange, C. Truffot-Pernot, M. Gheorghui, J. Grosset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Three strains of mice (Swiss albinos, C5BL/6, C3H/OuJ) were injected intravenously with 3.7 x 106 colony forming units (CFU) of M. tuberculosis, H37RV, sensitive and resistant to antibiotics (90% of bacilli sensitive, 9% resistant of Streptomycin and 0.9% resistant to Kanamycin). Two weeks later, chemotherapy was started 6 days a week for a 6-month period with isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP). Twenty mice of each strain were killed at the end of the chemotherapy and the others were kept without antibiotics for a second 6-month follow-up period before being killed. The early multiplication of bacilli during the first 2 weeks following infection and before chemotherapy, was similar in the three strains of mice. Chemotherapy had the same apparent efficacy in the three strains of mice, nearly all the mice being cured as assessed by a negative spleen culture on Lowenstein-Jensen medium at the end of chemotherapy. But after the 6-month follow-up period, the C3H strain presented a statistically significantly higher level of positive spleen culture ('relapse') than seen in the C57BL/6 strain, and an increased number of mycobacteria per relapsing mouse spleen. It has been estimated with the help of resistant and sensitive bacilli that the relapses were due in most of the cases to the regrowth of one or very few bacilli, giving a clone. It seems that the C3H strain of mice, known to carry the Bcg-r allele of the Bcg gene, might be less able to develop a specific acquired resistance capable of stopping the delayed development of a highly virulent strain of mycobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume76
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Lecoeur, H. F., Lagrange, P. H., Truffot-Pernot, C., Gheorghui, M., & Grosset, J. (1989). Relapses after stopping chemotherapy for experimental tuberculosis in genetically resistant and susceptible strains of mice. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 76(3), 458-462.