An Ex Vivo Porcine Nasal Mucosa Explants Model to Study MRSA Colonization

Pawel Tulinski, Ad C. Fluit, Jos P.M. van Putten, Alain de Bruin, Sarah Glorieux, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Birgitta Duim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen able to colonize the upper respiratory tract and skin surfaces in mammals. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus ST398 is prevalent in pigs in Europe and North America. However, the mechanism of successful pig colonization by MRSA ST398 is poorly understood. To study MRSA colonization in pigs, an ex vivo model consisting of porcine nasal mucosa explants cultured at an air-liquid interface was evaluated. In cultured mucosa explants from the surfaces of the ventral turbinates and septum of the pig nose no changes in cell morphology and viability were observed up to 72 h. MRSA colonization on the explants was evaluated followed for three MRSA ST398 isolates for 180 minutes. The explants were incubated with 3×108 CFU/ml in PBS for 2 h to allow bacteria to adhere to the explants surface. Next the explants were washed and in the first 30 minutes post adhering time, a decline in the number of CFU was observed for all MRSA. Subsequently, the isolates showed either: bacterial growth, no growth, or a further reduction in bacterial numbers. The MRSA were either localized as clusters between the cilia or as single bacteria on the cilia surface. No morphological changes in the epithelium layer were observed during the incubation with MRSA. We conclude that porcine nasal mucosa explants are a valuable ex vivo model to unravel the interaction of MRSA with nasal tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53783
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2013


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