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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1984 Oct;78(5):509-17.

Survival to patency of low level infections with Trichuris muris in mice concurrently infected with Nematospiroides dubius.


Large, single-pulse laboratory infections with Trichuris muris are rejected by mice before patency, but low-level infections of fewer than 20 worms survive for long periods. Data are presented to show that the threshold at which an effective immune response takes place is significantly higher in mice concurrently infected with Nematospiroides dubius. In control CFLP mice trickle infections did not survive to maturity but in the slower responder C57 Bl10 mice egg production began on Day 35 and continued for a further seven weeks, with some mature worms present at autopsy. Concurrent infection with N. dubius resulted in trickle infections, T. muris surviving much better than in control mice, although these still showed some resistance to T. muris. It is suggested that the results support the hypothesis that T. muris elicits concomitant immunity in the host. Thus, the first worms to establish survive to patency at which time they can no longer be removed by the host, but once the immunological threshold has been exceeded incoming larvae are rejected by the host. Such a survival strategy would be very useful to T. muris in the wild.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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