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Induction of lyme arthritis in LSH hamsters.

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Abstract

In studies of experimental
Lyme disease, a major obstacle has been the unavailability of a suitable animal model. We found that irradiated LSH/Ss Lak hamsters developed arthritis after injection of Borrelia burgdorferi in the hind paws. When nonirradiated hamsters were injected in the hind paws with B. burgdorferi, acute transient synovitis was present. A diffuse neutrophilic infiltrate involved the synovia and periarticular structures. The inflammation was associated with edema, hyperemia, and granulation tissue. Numerous spirochetes were seen in the synovial and subsynovial tissues. The histopathologic changes were enhanced in irradiated hamsters. The onset and duration of the induced swelling were dependent on the dose of radiation and the inoculum of spirochetes. Inoculation of irradiated hamsters with Formalin-killed spirochetes or medium in which B. burgdorferi had grown for 7 days failed to induce swelling. This animal model should prove useful for studies of the immune response to B. burgdorferi and the pathogenesis of
Lyme arthritis.

Infect Immun. 1988 Sep;56(9):2336-42.

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