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Migration behaviour and pathogenesis of five ascarid nematode species in the Mongolian gerbil Meriones unguiculatus

  • S. Cho (a1), M. Egami (a2), H. Ohnuki (a2), Y. Saito (a1), S. Chinone (a1), K. Shichinohe (a3), M. Suganuma (a3) and N. Akao (a2)...
Abstract

To understand the characteristic features of the Mongolian gerbil, Meriones unguiculatus, as an animal model of ascarid infections, the migration behaviour and pathogenesis of larvae were investigated in experimentally infected gerbils. Embryonated eggs from each of Toxocara canis,Baylisascaris procyonis, B. transfuga, Ascaris suum, and A. lumbricoides were orally inoculated into gerbils and larvae were recovered from various organs at designated periods. In T. canis-infected gerbils, larvae were present in the liver 3 days after infection and in the skeletal muscle and brain via the heart and lungs at a similar rate. In B. procyonis- and B. transfuga-infected gerbils, larvae were present in the lungs within 24 h after infection, with some having reached the brain by that time. After 24 h, larvae of B. procyonis tended to accumulate in the brain, while those of B. transfuga accumulated in skeletal muscles. In A. suum- and A. lumbricoides-infected gerbils, larvae remained in the liver on day 5 post-infection and elicited pulmonary haemorrhagic lesions, which disappeared 7 days after initial infection. Thereafter, no larvae of any type were recovered. Ocular manifestations were frequently observed in T. canis- and B. procyonis infected gerbils, but were rare in B. transfuga-infected gerbils. In the cases of A. suum and A. lumbricoides, migration to the central nervous system and eyes was extremely rare, and larvae had disappeared by 2 weeks post-infection. Fatal neurological disturbances were observed in B. procyonis-infected gerbils, whereas irreversible non-fatal neurological symptoms were observed in the case of B. transfuga.

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*Author for correspondence Fax: +81 3 5684 2849 E-mail: ocha.vip@tmd.ac.jp
References
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Journal of Helminthology
  • ISSN: 0022-149X
  • EISSN: 1475-2697
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-helminthology
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