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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prairie dog model for antimicrobial agent-induced Clostridium difficile diarrhea.

We have noted that prairie dogs given cefoxitin develop diarrhea and lose weight yet survive for periods of up to 4 weeks. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that cefoxitin causes Clostridium difficile cecitis in prairie dogs. Six prairie dogs were given a single intramuscular dose of 100 mg of cefoxitin per kg of body weight, and six control animals received saline; both groups were sacrificed 1 week later. Controls had no diarrhea and lost 2% of their body weight, whereas cefoxitin-treated animals had diarrhea (P less than 0.001) and lost 16% of their body weight (P less than 0.001); one animals died 6 days after cefoxitin challenge. None of the controls yielded C. difficile or had cecal cytotoxin or pseudomembranes detected. Cecal contents from all cefoxitin-treated animals, however, yielded C. difficile (P less than 0.01) and had cecal cytotoxin present (P less than 0.01). Four of five surviving animals also had cecal pseudomembranes present (P less than 0.01). These results demonstrate that in prairie dogs cefoxitin induces C. difficile cecitis. We conclude that the prairie dog is another model for the study of antibiotic-induced diarrhea. The disease in prairie dogs may have a more chronic course than in other animal models of C. difficile-induced diarrhea and may be useful as a model for studying certain aspects of C. difficile-induced diarrhea.[1]


  1. Prairie dog model for antimicrobial agent-induced Clostridium difficile diarrhea. Muller, E.L., Pitt, H.A., George, W.L. Infect. Immun. (1987) [Pubmed]
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