Development of an aerosol model of Cryptococcus reveals humidity as an important factor affecting the viability of Cryptococcus during aerosolization.
Cryptococcus is an emerging global health threat that is annually responsible for over 1,000,000 infections and one third of all AIDS patient deaths. There is an ongoing outbreak of cryptococcosis in the western United States and Canada. Cryptococcosis is a disease resulting from the inhalation of the infectious propagules from the environment. The current and most frequently used animal infection models initiate infection via liquid suspension through intranasal instillation or intravenous injection. These models do not replicate the typically dry nature of aerosol exposure and may hinder our ability to decipher the initial events that lead to clearance or the establishment of infection. We have established a standardized aerosol model of murine infection for the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus. Aerosolized cells were generated utilizing a Collison nebulizer in a whole-body Madison Chamber at different humidity conditions. The aerosols inside the chamber were sampled using a BioSampler to determine viable aerosol concentration and spray factor (ratio of viable aerosol concentration to total inoculum concentration). We have effectively delivered yeast and yeast-spore mixtures to the lungs of mice and observed the establishment of disease. We observed that growth conditions prior to exposure and humidity within the Madison Chamber during exposure can alter Cryptococcus survival and dose retained in mice.
Springer, DJ; Saini, D; Byrnes, EJ; Heitman, J; Frothingham, R
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