Refinement of a porcine pyelonephritis model using a minimally invasive inoculation procedure.

Kristian Stærk, Odense University Hospital

Pyelonephritis is a common and severe form of urinary tract infection. To understand the disease and develop new treatments, it is often necessary to use live animals before testing new treatments in humans. The better these animal models reflect the conditions in humans, the greater the likelihood that new, promising treatments will actually work in humans in the end.

Current animal models, mainly mice, are inappropriate because mice produce urine that is so concentrated that it kills bacteria. Pigs are better suited as they naturally develop pyelonephritis, similar to humans. Current pig models for pyelonephritis are based on old methods from the 1980s that require major surgery of the urinary tract and a subsequent healing period. This is stressful for the animals, and many must be euthanized due to surgical complications.
In this project, we aim to improve the model so that pyelonephritis can be induced in the animal without the need for surgery. We will do this by introducing bacteria directly into the renal pelvis using a temporary kidney catheter. The catheter is placed with a scope through the urethra.

The proposed method will both shorten the duration of the experiment and reduce the animal's pain, stress, and discomfort associated with the experiments. Due to the reduced burden, fewer animals will be euthanized, helping to decrease the overall number of experimental animals.


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