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Table 2 Summary of benefits and limitations of the different animal models (see text for details and references)

From: Animal models of listeriosis: a comparative review of the current state of the art and lessons learned

  Non-pregnant animals   Pregnant animals  
Species Popularity Benefits Limitations Popularity Benefits Limitations
mouse high - very well characterized
- economical
- large sample size possible
- inbred strains available
- immune reagents available
- proven ability to model bacterial strain variability
- mutation in receptor for InlA (Ecad) affects entry into enterocytes
- susceptibility to infection differs by mouse strain
- body size limits some manipulations
moderate/high - same as for non-pregnant animals
- similarities to human
- placentation well characterized
- mutation in receptor for InlA (Ecad)affects crossing of placental barrier
- small body size
rat moderate - well characterized
- economical
- large sample size possible
- inbred strains available
- immune reagents available
- body size optimal for certain manipulations
- proven ability to model bacterial strain variability
- mutation in receptor for InlA (Ecad)affects entry into enterocytes
- quite resistant to infection
moderate - same as for non-pregnant animals
- similarities to human placentation
- body size optimal for certain manipulations
- mutation in receptor for InlA (Ecad) affects crossing of placental barrier
- quite resistant to infection
rabbit moderate/low - well characterized
- economical
- large sample size possible
- commonly used to generate antibodies
- quite susceptible to infection
- InlB receptor (MET) polymorphism affects entry into cells such as hepatocytes moderate/low - same as for non-pregnant animals
- similarities to human placentation
- body size optimal for certain manipulations
- mutation in InlB receptor (MET) affects crossing of placental barrier
guinea pig moderate - well characterized
- economical
- large sample size possible
- body size optimal for certain manipulations
- ability to model bacterial strain variability
- InlB receptor (MET) polymorphism affects entry into cells such as hepatocytes
- quite resistant to infection
- pathological lesions often limited to myocardium
high - same as for non-pregnant animals
- similarities to human placentation
- body size optimal for certain manipulations
- mutation in InlB receptor (MET) affects crossing of placental barrier
- quite resistant to infection
gerbil increasing - quite susceptible to infection
- functional receptors for InlA (Ecad) and InlB (MET)
- not very well characterized
- no immune reagents
- small body size less economical
increasing - same as for non-pregnant animals - same as for non-pregnant animals
chinchilla low - highly susceptible - not well characterized
- inlA &inlB receptor sequences unknown
- no immune reagents less
- economical
low - same as for non-pregnant animals - same as for non-pregnant animals
hamster low - economical - resistant to infection
- inlA &inlB receptor sequences unknown small body size
low - same as for non-pregnant animals - same as for non-pregnant animals
primate moderate - close phylogenetic relationship to humans - ethical and economic considerations
- limited sample size
- no immune reagents
moderate - same as for non-pregnant animals - same as for non-pregnant animals