Drug-abbreviated infections of **Trichostrongylus colubriformis** and development of immunity in jirds (**Meriones unguiculatus**)
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Parasitology research. - Berlin
, p. 647-654
University of Antwerp
The objective of this study was to examine the development and the duration of immunity achieved with drug-abbreviated infections of Trichostrongylus colubriformis in jirds (Meriones unguiculatus). Jirds were primarily infected either by trickle infection with 6 × 100 infective larvae (L3) of T. colubriformis at 3-day intervals or by a single infection with 600 L3. On day 35 post-infection, one batch of jirds from each group was autopsied; the others were treated with oxfendazole at a dose of 5 mg/kg and were challenged with 1,000 L3 on either day 7 or day 42 post-treatment. All jirds were autopsied at 17 days post-challenge. Trickle infection resulted in lower levels of egg production during the primary infection period. The systemic IgM and IgG antibody response was significantly stronger in trickle- and single-infected groups as compared with the negative control group (P < 0.01P < 0.05). Significantly higher levels of intestinal IgA were demonstrated in trickle- and single-infected groups than in the negative control group (P < 0.01). Numbers of mucosal mast cells increased following infection, but this was not dependent on the type of immunisation. After challenge the extent of worm reduction was greater in trickle-infected than in single-infected subgroups. The IgM and IgG response was significantly stronger in challenged subgroups as compared with negative control subgroups (P < 0.01). However, the IgG response was weaker in control challenged subgroups than in challenged subgroups (P < 0.01). There was a negative correlation between the IgG response and the worm burden after the second challenge (r=−0.73). The acquired immunity to T. colubriformis infection in jirds developed within 5 weeks of primary infection. The level of immunity was higher after trickle infection than after single infection. Furthermore, the immunity persisted for at least 6 weeks after oxfendazole treatment in the absence of a worm burden and larval intake, which is very similar to the situation in domestic ruminant hosts.