Pathogenesis of Acute Avian Malaria

IV. Immunologic Factors in Nephritis of Acute Plasmodium gallinaceum Infections of Chickens

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  • Department of Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824

Study of urinary waste of chickens with acute Plasmodium gallinaceum malaria indicated that serum proteins of the globulin and albumin classes were passed. Protein extravasation did not begin until globulin-associated serum antigen and its antibody were detected in the blood. Both serum antigen and antibody were found in the wastes for as long as the antigen was present in the blood. Extracts of kidney tissues contained serum proteins that were not present in extracts from normal kidneys, and serum antigen and its antibody were both present. Frozen kidney sections reacted strongly with fluorescein-conjugated antibody to serum antigen, showing diffuse granular immunofluorescence characteristic of immune complex nephritis. Sections from chickens with nephritis induced by injections of malarious plasma also showed deposits of extravasated antigen. The experiments suggested that complexes of serum antigen and antibody served as a permeability factor, or activated other permeability factors and may have caused the glomerulonephritis associated with acute avian malaria. The passing of serum proteins in the urinary wastes after chickens had recovered from acute malaria suggested that persisting damage may have resulted.

Author Notes

U. S. State Department, Agency for International Development, Fellow.

Present address: College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, Jabalpur, Madhaya, Pradesh, India.

Address reprint requests to: Dr. Herbert W. Cox, Department of Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.

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