Friday, September 21, 2007

BALB/c mice resistant to Toxo infection proved to be highly susceptible when previously infected with Myocoptes musculinus fur mites.

Int J Exp Pathol. 2007 Oct;88(5):325-35

BALB/c mice resistant to Toxoplasma gondii infection proved to be highly susceptible when previously infected with Myocoptes musculinus fur mites

Welter A, Mineo JR, de Oliveira Silva DA, Lourenço EV, Vieira Ferro EA, Roque-Barreira MC, Maria da Silva N

Laboratory of Immunoparasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG 38400-902, Brazil.

The immune response induced by Toxoplasma gondii is characterized by Th1 immune mechanisms. We previously demonstrated that C57BL/6 mice infested with Myocoptes musculinus and infected with T. gondii by intraperitoneal route undergo accelerated mortality according to Th2 immune mechanisms induced by the acarian. To evaluate whether infection with M. musculinus influences T. gondii-induced Th1 response in a resistant mouse lineage, BALB/c, which develops latent chronic toxoplasmosis in a way similar to that observed in immunocompetent humans, this study was done. The animals were infected with T. gondii ME-49 strain 1 month after M. musculinus infestation, being the survival and the immune response monitored. The double-infected displayed higher mortality rate if compared with the mono-infected mice. In addition, infection with M. musculinus changed the T. gondii-specific immune response, converting BALB/c host to a susceptible phenotype. Spleen cells had increased the levels of IL-4 in double-infected mice. This alteration was associated with severe pneumonia, encephalitis and wasting condition. In addition, a higher tissue parasitism was observed in double-infected animals. It can be concluded that infection with these two contrasting parasites, M. musculinus and T. gondii, may convert an immunocompetent host into a susceptible one, and such a host will develop severe toxoplasmosis.

PMID: 17877534 [PubMed - in process]

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