Pathogenesis of brain abscess formation in an infant rat model of citrobacter diversus bacteremia and meningitis

Mark W. Kline, Sheldon L. Kaplan, Edith P. Hawkins, Edward O. Mason, Mark W. Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of Citrobacter diversus meningitis and brain abscess was studied in infant rats. Two-day-old rats were inoculated intraperitoneally and intranasally with C. diversus. C. diversus strain 4277, lacking the 32,000-molecular-weight outer membrane protein that appears to be a marker for strains causing meningitis in human neonates, was more likely to produce bacteremia, meningitis, and death in rats than was strain 4036, which possesses this outer membrane protein. Strain 4036 was, however, more likely than strain 4277 to produce ventriculitis and brain abscess. In the infant rat, central nervous system involvement by C. diversus begins with bacteremia and leptomeningitis, followed by ventriculitis and direct extension of infection into periventricular brain parenchyma. Large numbers of bacteria persist inside inflammatory cells, an observation suggesting resistance to intraphagocytic killing. Bacterial strain differences, possibly related to the presence of a 32,000-molecular-weight outer membrane protein, may account for histopathologic differences in the brains of infant rats with C. diversus meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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