Skip to main content Accessibility help

Host predisposition to trichuriasis: the mouse — T. muris model

  • K. J. Else (a1), D. Wakelin (a1) and T. I. A. Roach (a1)


Predisposition to trichuriasis in mice is reflected in the inability of certain strains, or certain individuals within strains, to express protective immunity. Poor responders fail to expel worms and harbour chronic patent infections. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon were studied in poor responder mice challenged after abbreviated or prolonged primary infections. Mice exposed to a complete primary infection were fully susceptible when challenged after the removal of the primary infection by anthelmintic. Failure to expel either infection suggests (a) that non-responsiveness to a primary infection does not reflect an inability to expel worms of a certain size, i.e. is not a consequence of the speed of the immune response in relation to parasite growth and (b) that non-responsiveness is long-lasting. Challenge after abbreviation of primary infections at different stages of worm development showed that persistence of larvae beyond day 21 was critical in determining poor response to reinfection. By inference the same conclusion can be drawn about the inability of such mice to expel primary infections. Serological analysis suggested a relationship between low antibody titres, restricted antigen recognition profiles and resistance to infection. It is suggested that the later stages of parasite development are immunosuppressive; the implications for human trichuriasis are discussed.



Hide All
Behnke, J. M. & Wakelin, D. (1973). The survival of Trichuris muris in wild populations of its natural hosts. Parasitology 67, 157–64.
Bundy, D. A. P. (1986). Epidemiological aspects of Trichuris and trichuriasis in Caribbean communities. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 80, 706–18.
Bundy, D. A. P., Thompson, D. E., Golden, M. H. N., Cooper, E. S., Anderson, R. M. & Harland, P. S. E. (1985 a). Population distribution of Trichuris trichiura in a community of Jamaican children. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 79, 232–7.
Else, K. J. & Wakelin, D. (1988). The effects of H-2 and non-H-2 genes on the expulsion of the nematode Trichuris muris from inbred and congenic mice. Parasitology 96, 543–50.
Lee, T. D. G. & Wakelin, D. (1982). Cortisone-induced immunotolerance to nematode infection in CBA/Ca mice. I. Investigation of the defects in the protective response. Immunology 47, 227–32.
Lowry, O., Rosebrough, N., Farr, A. & Randall, R. (1951). Protein measurements with the folin-phenol reagent. Journal of Biological Chemistry 193, 265.
Peters, W. (1978). Medical aspects — comments and discussion. In The Relevance of Parasitology to Human Welfare Today. (ed. Taylor, A. E. R.and Muller, R.) Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Roach, T. I. A. (1986). Immunity to Trichuris muris in the mouse. Ph.D. thesis, Nottingham University.
Voller, A., Bidwell, D. E. & Bartlett, A. (1979). The Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). A guide with abstracts of microplate applications (Dynatech, Europe, Guernsey, G. B.).
Wakelin, D. (1967). Acquired immunity to Trichuris muris in the albino laboratory mouse. Parasitology 57, 515–24.
Wakelin, D. (1970). Studies on the immunity of albino mice to Trichuris muris. Suppression of immunity by cortisone acetate. Parasitology 60, 229–37.
Wakelin, D. & Selby, G. R. (1974). The induction of immunological tolerance to the parasitic nematode Trichuris muris in cortisone-treated mice. Immunology 26, 110.
Warren, K. S. & Mahmoud, A. A. F. (1984). Tropical and Geographical Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Worley, D. E., Meisenhelder, J. E., Sheffield, H. G. & Thompson, P. E. (1962). Experimental studies on Trichuris muris in mice with an appraisal of its use for evaluating anthelmintics. Journal of Parasitology 48, 433–7.


Host predisposition to trichuriasis: the mouse — T. muris model

  • K. J. Else (a1), D. Wakelin (a1) and T. I. A. Roach (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed