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Differences in susceptibility of various mouse strains to hemo protozoan infections possible correlation with natural killer activity

, : Differences in susceptibility of various mouse strains to hemo protozoan infections possible correlation with natural killer activity. Parasite Immunology (Oxford) 2(4): 277-292

Striking differences in the susceptibility to Plasmodium chabaudi and Babesia microti infections among different strains of mice are described. In most of the strains, both parasites induce a moderate, transient parasitemia, followed by recovery. In the A strain P. chabaudi is rapidly lethal and B. microti induces a parasitemia which persists for life in most animals. B10.A mice, which have the same H-2a haplotype as the A strain, recover from both infections. In 1st crosses (A .times. B10.A)F1 mice are uniformly resistant. Among other correlates, NK cell activity may be relevant. This activity is known to be high in strain of mice which are resistant to both of the parasites studied, such as C57B1 and CBA mice, and low in the susceptible A strain. Spleen weight, total cell number and NK activity were examined at different times after infection. In the resistant strains there is a rapid increase in size and cell number, which is still more marked during recovery. NK activity increases greatly during the infection; this is especially remarkable considering the dilution of nucleated cells with erythrocyte precursors. In A mice cell numbers and NK activity remain almost unchanged. Marked activation of NK cells occur in resistant strains but not in susceptible ones. Possible mechanisms of activation of these cells and their effect in hemoprotozoan infections are discussed.

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