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Parasitol Res. 2003 Aug;90(5):415-20. Epub 2003 May 16.

Angiostrongylus costaricensis infection in C57BL/6 mice: MHC-II deficiency results in increased larval elimination but unaltered mortality.

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Institut für Tropenmedizin, Universität Tübingen, Wilhelmstrasse 27, 72074, Tübingen, Germany.


During experimental Angiostrongylus costaricensis infections in several inbred mouse strains, genetic factors as well as different cytokine secretion patterns have recently been shown to play a role in the outcome of infection in terms of morbidity and mortality, e.g. BALB/c mice show a high and C57BL/6 mice a low mortality during the acute phase of infection. In this study, C57BL/6 MHC-II knockout mice infected with A. costaricensis did not show increased mortality during the acute phase of infection when compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, MHC-II knockout mice showed a strongly diminished parasite-specific humoral and cellular immune response, which can be explained by the nearly complete lack of CD4+ T cells in the periphery. This defect in MHC-II genes, the lack of CD4+ T cells, and the resulting cellular and humoral unresponsiveness resulted in a three times higher output of first-stage larvae in feces compared with wild-type animals. The results indicate that during experimental A. costaricensis infection a parasite-specific immune response, directed via MHC-II molecules and CD4+ T cells, is not essential for the survival of C57BL/6 mice during the acute phase of infection, whereas the elimination of first-stage larvae seems to be regulated by a MHC-II- and CD4+ T-cell-dependent mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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