Immunity to Larval Brugia Malayi in BALB/c Mice: Protective Immunity and Inhibition of Larval Development

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  • Thomas Jefferson University, Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The objective of this study was to analyze the immune response of mice to the larval stages of Brugia malayi. Male BALB/c mice were inoculated with 3 doses of irradiated third-stage larvae (L-3) of B. malayi and were subsequently challenged with L-3 implanted ip within diffusion chambers. After 3 weeks, larvae were recovered to determine their viability, length, and stage of development. A significant reduction in parasite survival was observed in immunized mice. Furthermore, larvae recovered from immunized mice were significantly shorter than larvae recovered from control mice. All larvae recovered from immunized mice were L-3, whereas 96% of larvae recovered from controls were fourth-stage larvae (L-4). Sera collected from control and immunized mice were tested for the presence of antibodies reactive with L-3 and L-4 antigens using an indirect fluorescent antibody assay employing frozen larval cross-sections as antigen. Sera recovered after challenge of control mice reacted with internal, but not surface, antigens of L-3 and L-4. Alternatively, sera from immunized mice reacted with both internal and external antigens of both L-3 and L-4.