Procedure for Horizontal Transfer of Patient-Derived Xenograft Tumors to Eliminate Corynebacterium bovis

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2017 Mar 1;56(2):166-172.


Human patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumors, propagated in immunodeficient mice, are rapidly growing in use as a model for cancer research. Horizontal transfer between mice, without in vitro cell culture, allows these tumors to retain many of their unique characteristics from their individual patient of origin. However, the immunodeficient mouse strains used to grow these tumors are susceptible to numerous opportunistic pathogens, including Corynebacterium bovis. At our institution, 2 in vivo tumor banks of PDX tumors had been maintained within nude mouse colonies enzootically infected with C. bovis. Elimination of C. bovis from these colonies required the aseptic harvest and horizontal transfer of tumor tissue between infected and naïve recipient mice without cross-contamination. Out of necessity, we developed a standard operating procedure using enhancements to traditional aseptic surgical technique with concurrent application of both procedural and physical barriers to prevent C. bovis transmission. By using these methods, all 61 unique PDX tumor models were successfully harvested from C. bovis-infected mice and transferred into recipient mice without transmission of infection. Our data demonstrate that, in situations where C. bovis-free colonies can be established and maintained, this procedure can successfully be used to eliminate C. bovis from an in vivo tumor bank of valuable PDX tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corynebacterium / classification*
  • Corynebacterium Infections / microbiology
  • Corynebacterium Infections / prevention & control*
  • Heterografts / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / microbiology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology