Proinflammatory Cytokine mRNA Responses in Experimental Burkholderia pseudomallei Infection in Mice
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Melioidosis is a potentially fatal disease of both human and animals caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Disease is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The pathogenesis of melioidosis is poorly understood. In particular, the host responses that occur following infection, and the specific host-pathogen interactions that result in the development of either acute or chronic infection are unclear. Using an established murine model, we investigated early proinflammatory cytokine responses believed to be critical in the development of acute and chronic B. pseudomallei infection. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to assess levels of mRNA for tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), interleukin 1b (IL-1b) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the liver of mice following infection. We demonstrate that the level of mRNA for these cytokines increase moderately in chronic infection in C57BL/6 mice. However, in acute infection in BALB/c mice, mRNA responses for these cytokines were shown to be comparatively greater. These results demonstrate that early proinflammatory cytokine responses are important in the immunopathogenesis of melioidosis.