Visualization of streptococcus pneumoniae within cardiac microlesions and subsequent cardiac remodeling

Armand O. Brown, Carlos J. Orihuela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During bacteremia Streptococcus pneumoniae can translocate across the vascular endothelium into the myocardium and form discrete bacteria-filled microscopic lesions (microlesions) that are remarkable due to the absence of infiltrating immune cells. Due to their release of cardiotoxic products, S. pneumoniae within microlesions are thought to contribute to the heart failure that is frequently observed during fulminate invasive pneumococcal disease in adults. Herein is demonstrated a protocol for experimental mouse infection that leads to reproducible cardiac microlesion formation within 30 hr. Instruction is provided on microlesion identification in hematoxylin & eosin stained heart sections and the morphological distinctions between early and late microlesions are highlighted. Instruction is provided on a protocol for verification of S. pneumoniae within microlesions using antibodies against pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide and immunofluorescent microscopy. Last, a protocol for antibiotic intervention that rescues infected mice and for the detection and assessment of scar formation in the hearts of convalescent mice is provided. Together, these protocols will facilitate the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying pneumococcal cardiac invasion, cardiomyocyte death, cardiac remodeling as a result of exposure to S. pneumoniae, and the immune response to the pneumococci in the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52590
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number98
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Abscess
  • Bacteremia
  • Cardiac microlesion
  • Fluorescent microscopy
  • Heart failure
  • Invasion
  • Issue 98
  • Medicine
  • Pneumonia
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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