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Parasitol Int. 2010 Sep;59(3):435-44. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Primary alveolar echinococcosis: course of larval development and antibody responses in intermediate host rodents with different genetic backgrounds after oral infection with eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis.

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Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


We investigated parasite establishment, subsequent larval development and antibody responses in gerbils, cotton rats and 4 inbred mouse strains until 16 weeks post inoculation (p.i.) with 200 eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis. The rate of parasite establishment in the liver determined at 4 weeks p.i. was highest in DBA/2, followed by AKR/N, C57BL/10 and C57BL/6 mice, whereas gerbils harboured few parasite foci. The accurate number of liver lesions in cotton rats could not be determined due to rapid growth and advanced multivesiculation of the parasite observed at 2 weeks p.i. The course of larval development was most advanced in DBA/2 mice with mature protoscolex formation at 16 weeks p.i., followed by AKR/N harbouring metacestodes with sparsely distributed immature protoscoleces. On the other hand, C57BL/6 and C57BL/10 mice had infertile metacestodes without any protoscolex formation. The parasite growth in mice was totally slower than those in gerbils and cotton rats. Specific IgG and IgM responses against 3 types of native crude antigens of larval E. multilocularis were evaluated using somatic extracts of and vesicle fluid of metacestode, and somatic extracts from purified protoscoleces. The 4 mouse strains demonstrated basically similar kinetics with apparent IgG and IgM increases at 9 weeks p.i. and thereafter, except C57BL/10, exhibited higher levels of IgM against crude antigens at some time point of infection. On the other hand, a follow-up determination of specific IgG and IgM levels against recombinant antigens from larval E. multilocularis revealed that each mouse strain showed different antibody-level kinetics. The findings in the present study demonstrate that the course of host-parasite interactions in primary alveolar echinococcosis, caused by larval E. multilocularis, clearly varies among intermediate host rodents with different genetic backgrounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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