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This study investigated comparatively the pathogenicity of experimental infection of mice and guinea pigs, with Angiostrongylus mackerrasae and the closely related species A. cantonensis. Time course analyses showed that A. mackerrasae causes eosinophilic meningitis in these hosts, which suggests that the species has the potential to cause meningitis in humans and domestic animals. Both A. mackerrasae and the genetically similar A. cantonensis caused eosinophilic meningitis in mice at two time points of 14 and 21 days post infection (dpi). The brain lesions in mice infected with A. mackerrasae were more granulomatous in nature and the parasites were more likely to appear degenerate compared with lesions caused by A. cantonensis. This may indicate that the mouse immune system eliminates A. mackerrasae infection more effectively. The immunologic responses of mice infected with the two Angiostrongylus species was compared by assessing ex vivo stimulated spleen derived T cells and cytokines including interferon-gamma, interleukin 4 and interleukin 17 on 14 and 21 dpi. The results were similar for mice infected with A. cantonensis and A. mackerrasae. Serum from the infected animals with either A. cantonensis or A. mackerrasae recognized total soluble antigen of A. cantonensis female worms on Western blot.
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