Immunity to the Metacestode of Taenia Taeniaeformis in the Laboratory Rat

R. Wesley LeidHarvard Medical School, Robert B. Brigham Hospital, 125 Parker Hill Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02120

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Cysticercosis and hydatidosis are cyclozoonotic diseases of current importance to both public and animal health authorities throughout the world. Taenia taeniaeformis in the field is cycled through rodents (rats and mice) as intermediate hosts while the cat serves as the definitive host in a predator-prey relationship. The intermediate host becomes parasitized after the ingestion of infective eggs. Taeniid parasites possess the capacity to stimulate a strong immune response to the invasive larval stages, a response which is capable of destroying an infective challenge but seems incapable of eliminating the established parasites of the primary infection. At present the mechanisms by which these parasites are able to evade the efferent arm of the immune response remain undetermined. However, the natural host-parasite relationship offered by the experimental model of taeniasis, Taenia taeniaeformis in the rat, provides a means to experimentally examine both the host's response to the parasite as well as the parasite's response to the host in an effort to gain further insight into the phenomenon of prolonged survival.

Author Notes

Present address: Department of Pathology, A-15, Veterinary Clinical Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.