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Int J Exp Pathol. 2017 Aug;98(4):191-202. doi: 10.1111/iep.12236. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Influence of indigenous microbiota on experimental toxoplasmosis in conventional and germ-free mice.

Author information

1
Departamento de Patologia Geral, Laboratório de Neuro-Imunopatologia Experimental (NIPE), Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
2
Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
3
Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
4
Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Abstract

Toxoplasmosis represents one of the most common zoonoses worldwide. Its agent, Toxoplasma gondii, causes a severe innate pro-inflammatory response. The indigenous intestinal microbiota promotes host animal homoeostasis and may protect the host against pathogens. Germ-free (GF) animals provide an important tool for the study of interactions between host and microbiota. In this study, we assessed the role of indigenous microorganisms in disease development utilizing a murine toxoplasmosis model, which includes conventional (CV) and GF NIH Swiss mice. CV and GF mice orally inoculated with T. gondii had similar survival curves. However, disease developed differently in the two animal groups. In CV mice, intestinal permeability increased and levels of intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines were altered. In GF animals, there were discrete epithelial degenerative changes and mucosal oedema, but the liver and lungs displayed significant lesions. We conclude that, despite similar survival curves, CV animals succumb to an exaggerated inflammatory response, whereas GF mice fail to produce an adequate systemic response.

KEYWORDS:

Toxoplasma gondii ; germ-free mice; gut inflammation; microbiota; toxoplasmosis

PMID:
28895246
PMCID:
PMC5639263
DOI:
10.1111/iep.12236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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