Susceptibility of HLA-B27 transgenic mice to Yersinia enterocolitica infection

Cheryl L. Nickerson, Harvinder S. Luthra, Suresh Savarirayan, Chella S. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The majority of patients with reactive arthritis have the major histocompatibility complex class I gene HLA-B27. The development of arthritis in these patients often occurs following infection with one of several enteric bacteria, including Yersinia enterocolitica. In this study, transgenic mice expressing HLA-B27 and their negative full sibs were infected intravenously with Yersinia enterocolitica 0:8 WA in an attempt to develop an experimental model of reactive arthritis. To date, no reactive arthritis has been observed; however, a significantly higher incidence of paralysis was observed in the HLA-B27+ transgenic mice. Injection of 105 organisms induced hind limb paralysis in 8 out of 30 of the HLA-B27 transgenic mice (27%) and in only 1 of the 24 negative siblings (4%). Paralysis occurred in 14 out of 30 HLA-B27+ mice (47%) at a dose of 104 organisms. Only 2 of the 25 negative siblings (8%) were affected at this dose. Paraspinal abscesses were found in all of the paralyzed animals. At the 104 dose most of the HLA-B27+ mice (70%) succumbled to the disease within 4 weeks, while the mortality in their B27- full sibs was less than 10%. Thus, HLA-B27 transgenic mice have higher mortality and morbidity from infection with Y. enterocolitica 0:8 WA than corresponding HLA-B27- littermates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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