There is no preclinical mouse model to investigate pulmonary Mycobacteroides abscessus (formerly Mycobacterium abscessus) infection in an immunocompetent mouse strain, especially in the context of antibiotic testing and regimen development. We developed a mouse model of pulmonary M. abscessus infection using the aerosolized route of infection that leads to an increase in bacterial burden post- implantation and develops pathology as a result. In this mouse model, treatment with corticosteroid allows for initial proliferation and sustained M. abscessus pulmonary infection and permits evaluation of efficacies of antibiotics. Administration of corticosteroids that permitted higher levels of bacterial burden in the lungs were more likely to have pathology. Treatment of mice with antibiotics administered intranasally or subcutaneously significantly reduced lung M. abscessus burden. In addition to the reference strain, independent clinical isolates of M. abscessus also readily establish infection and proliferate in the lungs of mice in this model.
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