Immunologic responses to experimental strongyloidiasis in rats

Robert M. Genta, Eric A. Ottesen, Albert A. Gam, Franklin A. Neva

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Humoral and cellular immune responses were evaluated in Lewis rats infected with high (3000) inocula of Strongyloides ratti larvae (L3). The responses of peripheral and mesenteric node lymphocytes to crude larval antigen (by lymphocyte proliferation assay) sharply rose between days 12 and 16 of the primary infection and days 8 and 12 of the challenge, and decreased promptly to almost preinfection levels. Spleen lymphocytes failed to show any response to the primary infection, but did exhibit a modest response after challenge. The responses of peripheral lymphocytes to the mitogen phytohemagglutinin fell considerably on infection day 8 and then rose sharply to very high levels. Reinfection caused a small decrease in responsiveness, followed by another increase after 10 days. Inoculation of 3000 heat-killed larvae stimulated a response in peripheral lymphocytes similar to that elicited by the inoculation of live larvae. Spleen lymphocytes appeared to be stimulated more by the killed larvae inoculation, whereas only a limited response was found in mesenteric node lymphocytes in animals inoculated with dead larvae. IgG antibody titers against S. ratti antigen were measured by the enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). A significant elevation was noted between days 12 and 20 with a return to pre-infection levels between days 80 and 150. Challenge with 3,000 L3 induced a rapid and significant elevation. These data indicate that in rats experimentally inoculated with large numbers of S. ratti larvae a direct relationship exists between the development of cellular and humoral immune responses to larval antigens, the expulsion of the intestinal worms, and the acquisition of resistance to subsequent challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
JournalZeitschrift für Parasitenkunde Parasitology Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology


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