Necator americanus in the mouse: histopathological changes associated with the passage of larvae through the lungs of mice exposed to primary and secondary infection

M J Wilkinson, C Wells, J M Behnke

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The mouse/Necator americanus model was studied to assess the histopathological changes that occur in the lungs following primary and secondary exposure to infective larvae. Groups of BALB/c mice were infected percutaneously and killed on various days post infection. Parasite numbers were counted, the bronchoalveolar leukocyte response was quantified and histological sections of lung material were examined for evidence of host protective inflammatory reactions. An increase in the inflammatory infiltration was observed between days 5 and 9 in both primary and secondary infections but was considerably more intense in re-infected animals. This involved a marked change in the character of the infiltrate, particularly in the number of eosinophils that were recovered in lavage fluid. More worms were trapped in the lungs of challenged mice, as assessed through their inability to escape from lung material incubated in vitro. Overall, the results were found to be compatible with the development of acquired resistance to N. americanus and the expression of host protective immunity during the development of challenge-infection larvae in the lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Larva
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Necator
  • Necatoriasis

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