Immune status and the development of listeria monocytogenes infection in aged and young guinea pigs

Wen Hsuan Wu, Hoan Jen E. Pang, Karl R. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Consuming even low numbers of the foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes, places the elderly at risk for severe illness. The impact of immunomodulation on the development of listerial infection within a young and aged population after low dose challenge with L. monocytogenes was investigated. Methods: Animals received daily supplementation of vitamin E for a period of 21 days to promote immunomodulation, and were then orally challenged with 100 CFU of L. monocytogenes. Levels of CD8+, CD4+ and CD3+ T cells were used as markers to determine the influence of daily supplementation with vitamin E on immune response; the spleen and liver were harvested for microbiological analysis. Results: Higher numbers of animals became infected in control groups than in vitamin Etreated group. During the post-challenge period, vitamin E-treated aged animals showed faster CD8+ T cell proliferation than control aged animals. Conclusion: Daily supplementation with vitamin E was more beneficial in young compared with aged animals in mitigating listerial infection. Results suggest exposure to even low numbers of L. monocytogenes can result in infection in both healthy young and aged populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E309-E321
JournalClinical and Investigative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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