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The stimulation of immunity to Trichuris muris in mice exposed to low-level infections

  • D. Wakelin (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2009

Mice infected with as few as ten eggs of the nematode Trichuris muris are highly resistant to a challenge infection given 5 weeks later. The rate of elimination of challenge larvae is similar in mice immunized by infection with ten or with 300 eggs. Stimulation of immunity to challenge by the low-level infections is dependent upon the persistence of the immunizing worm population and removal of the population at day 14 considerably reduces the level of immunity. Worms developing from a low-level immunizing infection are not eliminated by a ‘self-cure’ response, as is the case with larger infections, and become sexually mature. Adult worms from such an infection are, however, eliminated by the response to a superimposed challenge infection. Repeated infection of mice with small numbers of eggs stimulates an immune response and the worm population is eliminated before patency.

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B. M. Ogilvie , & V. E. Jones , (1971). Nippostrongylus brasiliensis: a review of immunity and the host/parasite relationship in the rat. Experimental Parasitology 29, 138–77.

R. F. Phillipson , & D. C. Jenkins , (1970). Percentage development of a second infection of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis in rats. Zeitschrift für Parasitenkunde 33, 355–7.

S. R. Smithers , & R. J. Terry , (1967). Resistance to experimental infection with Sohistosoma mansoni in rhesus monkeys induced by the transfer of adult worms. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 61, 517–33.

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