Mycoplasma pulmonis infection in Wistar rats from an animal house
Mycoplasma pulmonis, the agent of the Murine Respiratory Mycoplasmosis (MRM), is one of the most pathogenic mycoplasma species for laboratory rodents. Mortality and morbidity in infected animals may be elevated, especially in long term studies or in animals with subclinical infection exacerbated by experimental procedures. Therefore, its most significant impact may be due to the interference in the interpretation of experimental results. The aim of this work was to evaluate the rate of M. pulmonis infection in rats from the animal house of the Regional University of Blumenau, by culture and PCR, bred specifically for scientific experimentation purposes. Among the 20 animals studied, 15 (75%) had bronchoalveolar samples with positive result for M. pulmonis by PCR, and two presented growth in culture with SP4 medium. Our results demonstrate a high rate of mycoplasma infection in laboratory rats from the animal house of the university, in spite of the knowledge about this issue since the 1990’s.
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