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Vet Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;35(2):225-32.

Survival, immune responses and tissue cyst production in outbred (Swiss white) and inbred (CBA/Ca) strains of mice experimentally infected with Neospora caninum tachyzoites.

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Laboratory of Parasitology and Pathology of Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Boulevard de Colonster, 20, 4000 Liege, Belgium.


The present work compared inbred (CBA/Ca) and outbred (Swiss white) strains of mice for their capacity to cope with a Neospora caninum infection and to consistently produce tissue cysts. In each experiment Swiss white and CBA/Ca mice were given three different doses of NC-1 tachyzoites. Lymphoproliferative and humoral responses as well as cytokine production were evaluated eight weeks after infection (PI) whereas tissue cyst production and histopathology were assessed 4, 6 and 10 weeks PI in immunosuppressed mice. Tissue cysts were observed 10 weeks after infection only in CBA/Ca mice receiving the two highest inoculum doses. Furthermore this strain showed the highest specific lymphoproliferative response. A mixed cytokine response with elevated IFN-gamma and fairly low IL-4 and IL-10 secretion was recorded. In both strains, no lesions were observed in the tissues of infected mice. This study indicates that CBA/Ca female mice infected with 5 x 10(6) NC-1 tachyzoites represent a useful model for the study of specific maternal immune responses in pregnant animals.

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