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Parasitology. 2011 Apr;138(5):660-9. doi: 10.1017/S0031182011000084. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

The role of Intelectin-2 in resistance to Ascaris suum lung larval burdens in susceptible and resistant mouse strains.

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Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The underlying mechanism of predisposition to Ascaris infection is not yet understood but host genetics are thought to play a fundamental role. We investigated the association between the Intelectin-2 gene and resistance in F2 mice derived from mouse strains known to be susceptible and resistant to infection. Ascaris larvae were isolated from murine lungs and the number of copies of the Intelectin-2 gene was determined in F2 mice. Intelectin-2 gene copy number was not significantly linked to larval burden. In a pilot experiment, the response to infection in parental mice of both sexes was observed in order to address the suitability of female F2 mice. No overall significant sex effect was detected. However, a divergence in resistance/susceptibility status was observed between male and, female hybrid offspring. The responsiveness to Ascaris in mice is likely to be controlled by multiple genes and, despite a unique absence from the susceptible C57BL/6j strain, the Intelectin-2 gene does not play a significant role in resistance. The observed intra-strain variation in larval burden requires further investigation but we hypothesize that it stems from social/dominance hierarchies created by the presence of female mice and possibly subsequent hormonal perturbations that modify the intensity of the immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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