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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2000;95 Suppl 1:175-8.

Studies on the virulence and attenuation of Trypanosoma cruzi using immunodeficient animals.

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Laboratorio de Patología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Calle Buenos Aires 177, 4400 Salta, Argentina.


Tissue invasion and pathology by Trypanosoma cruzi result from an interaction between parasite virulence and host immunity. Successive in vivo generations of the parasite select populations with increasing ability to invade the host. Conversely, prolonged in vitro selection of the parasite produces attenuated sublines with low infectivity for mammals. One such subline (TCC clone) has been extensively used in our laboratory as experimental vaccine and tested in comparative experiments with its virulent ancestor (TUL). The experiments here reviewed aimed at the use of immunodeficient mice for testing the infectivity of TCC parasites. It has not been possible to obtain virulent, revertant sublines by prolonged passaged in such mice.

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