Aerosol infection of BALB/c mice with Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus and protective efficacy against aerosol challenge. Academic Article uri icon


  • Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease with a worldwide distribution that can be transmitted via intentional or accidental aerosol exposure. In order to engineer superior vaccine strains against Brucella species for use in animals as well as in humans, the possibility of challenge infection via aerosol needs to be considered to properly evaluate vaccine efficacy. In this study, we assessed the use of an aerosol chamber to infect deep lung tissue of mice to elicit systemic infections with either Brucella abortus or B. melitensis at various doses. The results reveal that B. abortus causes a chronic infection of lung tissue in BALB/c mice and peripheral organs at low doses. In contrast, B. melitensis infection diminishes more rapidly, and higher infectious doses are required to obtain infection rates in animals similar to those of B. abortus. Whether this difference translates to severity of human infection remains to be elucidated. Despite these differences, unmarked deletion mutants BADeltaasp24 and BMDeltaasp24 consistently confer superior protection to mice against homologous and heterologous aerosol challenge infection and should be considered viable candidates as vaccine strains against brucellosis.

published proceedings

  • Infect Immun

altmetric score

  • 3.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Kahl-McDonagh, M. M., Arenas-Gamboa, A. M., & Ficht, T. A.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Kahl-McDonagh, MM||Arenas-Gamboa, AM||Ficht, TA

publication date

  • October 2007