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Int J Parasitol. 2002 Feb;32(2):179-85.

Genetic analysis of influences on survival following Toxoplasma gondii infection.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Chicago, AMBH S208, 5841 South Maryland, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Survival of mice during the acute stage of Toxoplasma gondii infection was not influenced by the MHC Class I gene, L(d), but was influenced by the MHC Class II genes, Ia and Ie. As unexplained variability was noted in our initial studies of influence of the L(d) gene on survival, influence of the L(d) gene region on survival in the presence of a number of variables was studied. Although route of administration and dose of parasites, and age and gender of the mice markedly influenced outcome of T. gondii infection, the Class I L(d) gene did not modify survival in any of these circumstances. In separate studies, using mice with a differing genetic background, i.e. H-2(b), C57BL/10 mice, presence of Ia or Ie alone diminished survival even though presence of Ia reduced parasite burden. When neither or both the Ia and Ie genes were present together, survival was greater. In separate analyses of our studies of AxB BxA recombinant inbred mice, similar influences of MHC genes on survival and parasite burden following peroral infection were confirmed. Previously undescribed associations of novel genetic loci and survival and parasite burden also were identified. Genetic loci associated with enhanced survival included D8Mit42, D1Mit3, Iapls1-16, D8Mit14, Hoxb, Mpmv29, Pmv45, and Emv-2; genetic loci associated with reduced parasite burden included H-2, D17Mit62, D17Mit83, D17Mit21, D17Mit34, D17Mit47, D18Mit4, and Gln3-5. These studies demonstrate the importance of MHC region genes (but not L(d)) for survival, and the influence of other novel genes, and endogenous and exogenous variables on survival and parasite burden specified by host genes following T. gondii infection.

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