Intratracheal administration of influenza virus is superior to intranasal administration as a model of acute lung injury

Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Monica Chi, Emilia Lecuona, Navdeep S. Chandel, Laura A. Dada, Karen Ridge, Saul Soberanes, Recep Nigdelioglu, Jacob I. Sznajder, Gökhan M. Mutlu, G. R Scott Budinger, Kathryn A. Radigan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Infection of mice with human or murine adapted influenza A viruses results in a severe pneumonia. However, the results of studies from different laboratories show surprising variability, even in genetically similar strains. Differences in inoculum size related to the route of viral delivery (intranasal vs. intratracheal) might explain some of this variability. To test this hypothesis, mice were infected intranasally or intratracheally with different doses of influenza A virus (A/WSN/33 [H1N1]). Daily weights, a requirement for euthanasia, viral load in the lungs and brains, inflammatory cytokines, wet-to-dry ratio, total protein and histopathology of the infected mice were examined. With all doses of influenza tested, intranasal delivery resulted in less severe lung injury, as well as smaller and more variable viral loads in the lungs when compared with intratracheal delivery. Virus was not detected in the brain following either method of delivery. It is concluded that compared to intranasal infection, intratracheal infection with influenza A virus is a more reliable method to deliver virus to the lungs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014



  • Influenza A infection
  • Inoculation
  • Intranasal
  • Intratracheal
  • Lung injury
  • Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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