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J Parasitol. 1989 Feb;75(1):82-5.

Decreased yield of Pneumocystis carinii from cortisonized rats.

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Biology Department, Christian Brothers College, Memphis, Tennessee 38104.


Thirty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups, including 1 control and 2 experimental groups, in order to compare the efficacy of using cortisone acetate alone or in addition to intranasal inoculation of Pneumocystis carinii organisms for the purpose of inducing acute P. carinii pneumonia. The presence of P. carinii was monitored in nasal secretions on a weekly basis and in lungs at autopsy. Titers of IgG antibody were also monitored by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No rat receiving cortisone acetate injections alone and only 2 of the rats receiving both cortisone and intranasal inoculation of P. carinii organisms showed Pneumocystis organisms in the lungs. However, Pneumocystis cysts did appear in the nasal secretions of 3 of the 5 control rats, all 8 rats receiving cortisone acetate injections only, and 12 of 18 rats receiving both cortisone acetate injections and an intranasal inoculum. IgG titers of both cortisonized groups remained less than 1:4 throughout the course of the experiment. The titer of the control group increased from negative to 13 (geometric mean).

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