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Infect Immun. Sep 2009; 77(9): 3948–3957.
Published online Jul 13, 2009. doi:  10.1128/IAI.00658-09
PMCID: PMC2738039

Clinical Chemistry of Congenic Mice with Quantitative Trait Loci for Predicted Responses to Trypanosoma congolense Infection

Abstract

Trypanosoma congolense is a protozoan parasite that causes severe diseases in livestock. Three major quantative trait loci (QTL), Tir1, Tir2, and Tir3, control the survival time of mice after infection with T. congolense. Congenic mice carrying the C57BL/6 resistance alleles on the A/J background were developed for each of these loci. The congenic mice were used to physically map the regions containing the QTL gene(s) and to investigate the physiological effect of each locus. Clinical chemistry data for infected A/J, C57BL/6, and BALB/c mice were obtained for 15 analytes at five time points. Congenic mice were assessed for survival, parasitemia, and anemia as well as seven clinical-chemical analytes. The survival times were significantly increased in the Tir1 and Tir2 mice but not Tir3 congenic mice. The survival time of the parental inbred mice correlated negatively with parasitemia but positively with alanine aminotransferase activities in serum, suggesting that inflammatory reactions in the liver had a beneficial effect possibly associated with reduced parasitemia. However, there was no difference in parasitemia or liver enzyme activities of Tir1 and Tir2 congenic mice relative to their controls, showing that survival, parasitemia, and degree of liver damage are not associated with each other, despite the correlation in the parental lines. These data suggest that the congenic loci affect survival but do not affect control of parasite number. They may therefore act by limiting the pathological consequences of T. congolense infection.


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