A comparison of oral and intravenous mouse models of listeriosis

Michelle G. Pitts, Sarah E.F. D’Orazio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Listeria monocytogenes is one of several enteric microbes that is acquired orally, invades the gastric mucosa, and then disseminates to peripheral tissues to cause systemic disease in humans. Intravenous (i.v.) inoculation of mice with L. monocytogenes has been the most widely-used small animal model of listeriosis over the past few decades. The infection is highly reproducible and has been invaluable in deciphering mechanisms of adaptive immunity in vivo, particularly CD8+T cell responses to intracellular pathogens. However, the i.v. model completely bypasses the gut phase of the infection. Recent advances in generating both humanized mice and murinized bacteria, as well as the development of a foodborne route of transmission has reignited interest in studying oral models of listeriosis. In this review, we analyze previously published reports to highlight both the similarities and differences in tissue colonization and host response to infection using either oral or i.v. inoculation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The mode of transmission used for in vivo infections in previously-published studies is not always readily ascertained in searchable fields in Pubmed. We apologize for any inadvertent omissions of our colleague’s work that would have been relevant to this review article. We thank Grant Jones for assistance with Figure 1. S.E.F.D. was funded by the NIH (R01 AI101373; R21 AI30437).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Foodborne pathogen
  • Host susceptibility
  • Intracellular bacteria
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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