Immune expulsion of the trichostrongylid Cooperia oncophora is associated with increased eosinophilia and mucosal IgA

K Kanobana*, HW Ploeger, L Vervelde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Previous experiments have shown that a primary infection with 100,000 infective larvae of the trichostrongylid Cooperia oncophora allows discrimination between different type of responder animals based on the speed by which the parasite is expelled from the host. In most of the animals (intermediate responders) the expulsion occurs 35-42 days after infection. This experiment was carried out to investigate which mechanisms contribute to the clearance of the parasite from the intestine. Sequential necropsy of the animals 14, 28 and 42 days after infection together with a segmental division of the small intestine, allowed us to characterise essential components associated with development of immunity and expulsion of the parasite from its niche. The results show that during the patent phase of the infection the parasite preferentially resides in the proximal gut. Forty-two days after infection ongoing expulsion is characterised by a migration of the worms to the more distal part of the intestine. Expulsion of the adult worm population appears to be mast-cell independent and is associated with a significant increase in parasite-specific mucous IgA and IgG1 as well as with an influx of eosinophils in the intestinal lamina propria. Although we did not observe a specific lymphocyte recruitment into the intestinal mucosa, the accumulation of eosinophils seems to be mediated by CD4 + cells. We measured significant negative correlations between the number of eosinophils and the expulsion rate of the parasite expressed by sex ratio and ratio eggs per gram facces. Parasite-specific mucosal IgA levels were negatively correlated to the fecundity of the worms, expressed as number of eggs per female worm. Our results describe the involvement of both eosinophils and mucosal IgA in the regulation of C. oncophora expulsion and suggest the development of a Th2 effector immune response. (C) 2002 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1398
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal For Parasitology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • expulsion
  • trichostrongylid
  • mucosal immunity
  • Cooperia
  • eosinophils


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