The host immune response has profound effects on parasitic nematode infections. Here we have investigated how a range of infection parameters are affected by host immune responses and by their suppression and enhancement. The infection parameters considered were the number of parasitic females, their size, per capita fecundity and intestinal position. We found that in immunosuppressive treatments worms persist in the gut, sometimes with a greater per capita fecundity, maintain their size and have a more anterior gut position, compared with worms from control animals. In immunization treatments there are fewer worms in the gut, sometimes with a lower per capita fecundity and they are shorter and have a more posterior gut position, compared with worms from control animals. Worms from animals immunosuppressed by corticosteroid treatment reverse their changes in size and gut position. This description of these phenomena pave the way for a molecular biological analysis of how these changes in infection parameters are brought about by the host immune response.
- Host-Parasite Interactions/immunology
- Immunosuppressive Agents/pharmacology
- Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic/immunology
- Intestine, Small/immunology
- Rats, Wistar
- Regression Analysis
- Strongyloides ratti/anatomy & histology