Animal Models of Implant-Related Low-Grade Infections. A Twenty-Year Review

Arianna Barbara Lovati, Marta Bottagisio, Elena de Vecchi, Enrico Gallazzi, Lorenzo Drago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The demand for joint replacement and surgical treatment is continuously increasing, thus representing a clinical burden and a cost for the healthcare system. Among several pathogens involved in implant-related infections, staphylococci account for the two-thirds of clinically isolated bacteria. Despite most of them are highly virulent microorganisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), low virulent bacteria (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Propionibacterium acnes) are responsible for delayed, low-grade infections without specific clinical signs and hardly distinguishable from aseptic prosthetic failure. Therefore, there is a real need to study the pathogenesis of orthopedic infections through in vivo animal models. The present review of the literature provides a 20-year overview of animal models of acute, subclinical or chronic orthopedic infections according to the pathogen virulence and inocula. Through this analysis, a great variety of conditions in terms of bacterial strains and inocula emerged, thus encouraging the development of more reproducible in vivo studies to provide relevant information for a translational approach to humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-50
Number of pages21
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Early online dateOct 9 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article

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