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Exp Parasitol. 1996 Apr;82(3):267-78.

Strongyloides stercoralis: eosinophil-dependent immune-mediated killing of third stage larvae in BALB/cByJ mice.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Challenge worm survival was significantly reduced when BALB/cByJ mice were vaccinated against Strongyloides stercoralis infective third stage larvae (L3) regardless of whether the challenge infections consisted of systemically migrating L3 or L3 implanted in diffusion chambers. The only cell type that increased in number in diffusion chambers in immunized mice, 1 week after booster immunizations, was the eosinophil, and maximal levels of eosinophils were coincident with parasite killing. Mice were treated with mAb to eliminate IL-5 or granulocytes to assess the role that eosinophils play in larval killing. Treated animals showed no decrease in immunity when challenge infections consisted of systemically migrating L3 administered 3 weeks after booster immunizations. Eosinophil numbers in immunized mice decreased to control levels when measured 3 weeks post-booster immunization, both in diffusion chambers and in the peripheral blood, whereas they were elevated at 1 week after booster immunizations. Direct contact between host cells and L3 was, however, still required for larval killing in immunized hosts 3 weeks after booster immunizations. Elimination of eosinophils by treatment with mAb to IL-5 or granulocytes significantly reduced protective immunity, when L3 were implanted in diffusion chambers at 1 and 3 weeks post-booster. However, as systemically migrating L3 were still killed in immunized, eosinophil-depleted animals, other cell types may play a role in larval destruction. Two human eosinophil granule products were found to be toxic for host-adapted L3+, but had no effect on infective L3, indicating that host-adapted larvae are possible targets for eosinophil-mediated destruction of third stage larvae. These findings suggest that inactivation of eosinophils by mAb treatment abolishes protective immunity to L3 contained within diffusion chambers and that small numbers of eosinophils are sufficient for immune-mediated killing of S. stercoralis L3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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