Clinical reports suggest an association of distinct Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains with CNS disease. We therefore examined CNS dissemination by different laboratory strains (two M. tuberculosis H37Rv, one CDC1551) in a guinea pig aerosol infection model. Although all strains grew exponentially in lungs, with similar bacterial burdens at the time of extrapulmonary dissemination, M. tuberculosis CDC1551 disseminated to the CNS significantly more than the H37Rv strains. No CNS lesions were observed throughout the study, with only a modest cytokine response. These data suggest that M. tuberculosis may have virulence factors that promote CNS dissemination, distinct from those required for pulmonary TB.
- Central nervous system
- Guinea pig