Abstract

Cytokine mRNA expression was determined in the liver of mice subcutaneously inoculated with a lethal dose of the highly virulent strain FSC 041 of Francisella tularensis subvar, tularensis or a sublethal dose of the live vaccine strain of F. tularensis subvar, palaearctica. Expression of mRNA for TNF-α, IL-12, IFN-γ, and IL-10 was demonstrated within 48 h of inoculation, the kinetics being similar irrespective of bacterial strain used. Thus, the expression of a cytokine response believed to be important in the early host defence against live vaccine strain seemed insufficient to prevent the lethality of a more virulent strain.

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