Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2004
Publication Date: April 17, 2004
Citation: Meyerholz, D.K., Grubor, B., Fach, S.J., Sacco, R.E., Ensley, D., Lehmkuhl, H.D., Gallup, J.M., Ackermann, M.R. Respiratory syncytial virus infection in preterm lambs. 2004. Presented at FASEB Meeting. Abstract No. 1074.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a significant cause of respiratory disease leading to hospitalization in young infants. Preterm infants are especially susceptible and are likely to develop severe disease. Relevant preterm animal models of RSV infection are lacking. The purpose of this study was to evaluate RSV infection in preterm neonatal lambs. Premature lambs were removed via Caesarean section from date-mated ewes at approximately 137-139 days of gestation (~145 days = term). Lambs were inoculated intratracheally with 20 cc of RSV (a clinical isolate from a lamb) or sterile media. Clinically the RSV infected lambs had an increased temperatures and respiration rate with decreased milk consumption. Tissues were collected on day 6 of infection and the RSV infected lambs had multifocal plum-red foci (1 - 8 mm) of consolidation bilaterally with a hilar to cranial ventral distribution. Microscopically, the RSV infected lambs had bronchointerstitial pneumonia with bronchiolar hyperplasia, necrosis and intraluminal infiltrates of neutrophils, macrophages and sloughed epithelial cells. RSV antigen staining was present in bronchiolar epithelium and macrophages both in airways and in the alveolar septa. In conclusion, the preterm lamb is a useful animal model for RSV infection in the preterm infant. Funding provided by the J.G. Salsbury endowment.