Modeling Neisseria meningitidis Infection in Mice: Methods and Logistical Considerations for Nasal Colonization and Invasive Disease

  • Kay O. Johswich
  • Scott D. Gray-OwenEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1969)


The single greatest barrier to studying the lifestyle of Neisseria meningitidis stems from its exquisite adaptation to life in humans, a specialization which prevents it from infecting other animals. This barrier to modeling meningococcal infection has been overcome by the provision of factors that allow the meningococci to overcome one or more aspects of host restriction, including the use of mice expressing receptors that allow mucosal colonization and/or the inclusion of serum factors that facilitate meningococcal replication during disseminated meningococcal disease. Here we discuss these advances, consider variables that influence the outcome of infection, and detail the technical requirements to establish robust and reproducible nasal colonization or sepsis. Once established, these models can then be used to study the meningococcal lifestyle and the immune response during infection, and to facilitate development of novel drug or vaccine-based approaches to intervene in meningococcal carriage and disease.

Key words

Mouse model Intraperitoneal infection Sepsis Nasal infection Mucosal colonization Transgenic mice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Hygiene and MicrobiologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Molecular GeneticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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