Strongyloides stercoralis: Parasitological, immunological and pathological observations in immunosuppressed dogs

Robert M. Genta, Gerhard A. Schad, Maria E. Hellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Four specific pathogen-free, two to three-month-old, laboratory-raised beagles were infected with Strongyloides stercoralis and monitored by thrice-weekly faecal examinations. Larvae were not detected in the faeces after the 11th week. During the 14th week, daily oral prednisolone (2·2 mg/kg) was given. This led to weak recrudescence of the infection. During the 21st week, the daily dose of prednisolone was doubled and thereafter two of the four dogs developed severe hyperinfective strongyloidiasis with their adult worm populations markedly exceeding the number of larvae inoculated, as did one dog which remained asymptomatic. One dog died during the 15th week, i.e., before there was time for a marked increase in the parasite population. Three of the four dogs provided evidence of disseminated infection with adult worms occurring in ectopic sites. Parasite-specific cellular and humoral immune responses were monitored weekly. All dogs developed a significant rise in specific IgM titres lasting until the fifth week. From the fourth week, all dogs had detectable parasite-specific IgG antibody levels that persisted throughout the experiment in spite of the immunosuppression,.S’trongyloides-induced lymphocytic responses in vitro were demonstrated in three dogs from the second to the fifth week of infection, but returned to pre-infection levels thereafter. All animals were necropsied. Relevant pathological lesions were found in the small intestine, the colon and the lungs. Larvae were seen in such ectopic sites as mesenteric nodes and prostate. The observations provide further evidence that canine 5. stercoralis infections can be manipulated to reproduce with great fidelity the parasitological and clinico-pathological events occurring in human disseminated strongyloidiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Strongyloides stercoralis: Parasitological, immunological and pathological observations in immunosuppressed dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this