Susceptibility of selected inbred strains of mice to encephalitozoon cuniculi

J. Y. Niederkorn, J. A. Shadduck, E. C. Schmidt

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28 Scopus citations


Selected inbred strains of mice were examined for susceptibility to peritoneal infections with Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Marked differences in susceptibility and resistance among mouse strains were not controlled by loci within the mouse major histocompatibility (H-2) complex, but resistance in BALB/c mice was influenced by a dominant gene(s) outside the H-2 complex. The lethality of peritoneal infections in hypothymic nude mice suggested that resistance to encephalitozoonosis is dependent on thymus- derived lymphocytes. Peritoneal infection with E. cuniculi was associated with slightly enhanced proliferative spleen cell responses to mitogens in BALB/c mice and significantly depressed responses in C57B1/6 mice. Infection in BALB/c mice was accompanied by normal antibody responses to sheep erythrocyte immunogens, but C57B1/6 mice had depressed antibody responses. The results indicate that the immune system plays a major role in determining the course of peritoneal infections with E. cuniculi and that encephalitozoonosis can modulate the host’s immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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