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Pharmacologia Vol. 4 (3), 2013
Research Article
Susceptibility of Arsenic-Exposed ICR Mice to Buruli Ulcer Development
Samuel FosuGyasi , EsiAwuah , John AsieduLarbi , George AsumengKoffuor , Alex YawDebrah , Nana Yaa Awua-Boateng and Owusu-Afriyie Osei
 
Abstract: Background: Buruli Ulcer is assuming public health importance in Ghana, prompting research into possible ways by which the disease can be managed. The study aimed at investigating the susceptibility of arsenic-exposed ICR mice to the development of Buruli Ulcer. Methodology: Upon continuous exposure of mice to variable concentrations of arsenic via drinking water, they were inoculated intraplantarly with approximately 15x108 CFU mL-1 (5 McFarland standard) Mycobacterium ulcerans. Cage-side and clinical observations were carried out daily for post-exposure inoculation clinical manifestations. Hematological and histopathological studies were also performed and observations compared with controls. Tissue from developed lesion obtained was confirmed for the presence of Mycobacterium ulcerans by Polymerase Chain Reaction test. Results: Inoculated arsenic exposed mice developed erythema on day 25 which progressed to swelling of the footpad, foot oedema, thigh oedema and ulcer within 112 days. The onset and progression was directly related to the arsenic exposure dose. Within this period, there were no developments in the MU-only treated and the normal mice. Mycobacterium ulcerans positive lesions however started developing on the hind feet of this treatment group on day 122 (50 days after this manifestation had been observed in Mycobacterium ulcerans inoculated arsenic exposed mice). White blood cell numbers decreased significantly (p≤0.01) and dose-dependently in MU inoculated arsenic exposed mice as well as the arsenic-only treatment group. Histopathological reports revealed that inoculated arsenic exposed mice had dose-dependent liver and spleen damage after 112 days of the study similar to the Mycobacterium ulcerans only treatment. Conclusion: Results from the study revealed that, arsenic has an immunosuppressive potential that can hastens a possible MU infection in mice.
 
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