Author(s): Groves MG, Osterman JV
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Genetic resistance to lethal infection with Rickettsia tsutsugamushi was studied in over 30 inbred strains, inbred hybrids, and outbred stocks of mice. Inbred mice infected intraperitoneally with the Gilliam strain of R. tsutsugamushi showed three patterns of response: susceptible (A/HeJ, C3H/HeDub, C3H/HeJ, C3H/HeN, C3H/St, CBA/J, DBA/1J, DBA/2J, and SJL/J), resistant (AKR/J, BALB/cDub, BALB/cJ, C57BL/6J, C57L/J, and SWR/J), and selectively resistant (A/J). The selectively resistant pattern was characterized by random deaths occurring throughout the titration range and was also observed in three of the six outbred mouse stocks surveyed. No correlation was evident between the H-2 haplotype of inbred mice and their response to Gilliam infection. The progeny from five different Gilliam-resistant by Gilliam-susceptible inbred parental crosses were all resistant. Study of F(1), F(2), and parental backcross generations of BALB/cDub (resistant) and C3H/HeDub (susceptible) hybrids indicated resistance was dominant and was controlled by a single gene or a closely linked cluster of genes that were autosomal and not linked to coat color. The resistance of BALB/cDub mice was not due to an inability of host cells to support rickettsial growth, since C3H/HeDub and BALB/cDub embryo cell cultures supported similar growth of Gilliam organisms. C3H/HeDub mice, although susceptible to intraperitoneal Gilliam infection, were capable of mounting an immune response to Gilliam antigens, since subcutaneous infection was not lethal and did protect animals against subsequent intraperitoneal challenge with either the Gilliam or Karp strains of R. tsutsugamushi.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination