Modelling Infection by the Pathogenic Neisseria
Epshita A. Islam and Scott D. Gray-Owen
from: Pathogenic Neisseria: Genomics, Molecular Biology and Disease Intervention (Edited by: John K. Davies and Charlene M. Kahler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)
The pathogenic Neisseria are exquisitely adapted to life within the human mucosa, their only natural niche. While biologically fascinating, this strict host specificity makes it difficult to appreciate how bacterial and host factors contribute to infection in the context of an authentic mucosa and an intact immune system. While modeling neisserial infection in a non-human host is fraught with the potential that effects seen might not be replicated in humans, basic responses are often preserved and careful interpretation of the outcomes can provide insight not achievable by other methods. This chapter summarizes past work and ongoing efforts to establish animal models that can be used to study Neisseria in their mucosal niche and/or during disseminated disease. By considering the relative benefits of each model, we aim to provide a deeper appreciation of how each may be used to address different types of research questions and, moreover, how the model employed may affect the results from each study. Then, when employed judiciously, these animal models can be used to provide direct validation of findings obtained through cellular, molecular or clinical studies and, on the other hand, can reveal previously unrecognized aspects of infection that can be studied in more detail through one or the other of these complementary approaches read more ...