A brilliant scientist has discovered a new anti-inflammatory agent, Xious, that is capable of preventing the onset of, and therapeutically down-regulating the inflammatory response in several animal models of inflammatory autoimmunity. Prior to human trials it is critical to determine if Xious compromises treated individuals in their ability to respond to microbial infections. To test this, the murine model of cutaneous infection with Staphylococcus aureus was utilized. In this model, mice are inoculated subcutaneously with synthetic beads coated with S. aureus. The development, and then healing, of skin abscesses is the mechanism utilized to test the immunological response. Mice received either therapeutic doses of Xious or a placebo prior to infection. Mice treated with Xious developed significantly smaller abscesses compared to placebo treated mice. Explain the two conclusions that may be drawn from this outcome. Identify what information you would need to know to distinguish between these two conclusions
Xious provides significant protection from abcess formation in this model of sepsis. One conclusion would be that Xious directly inhibits bacterial growth, restricting its ability to form an abcess. The second conclusion is that abcess formation is partly caused by immune pathology, so ...
This solution details how a fictional novel anti-inflammatory drug could be tested using a bacterial abcess model, and the different conclusions that could be drawn from the results. It further explains how to distinguish between the different possible conclusions.