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Open Access Role of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II in Resistance of Mice to Naturally Acquired Infection with Syphacia obvelata

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Genetics plays a substantial role in host resistance in many host-parasite interactions. We examined the prevalence of naturally acquired infection with Syphacia obvelata in a number of mouse strains housed in a non-barrier facility. These mice, which included cross-bred and congenic, inbred strains on various genetic backgrounds, differ in the loci for the immune function genes—major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII), toll-like receptor 4 (Tlr4), and solute carrier family 11, member 1 (Slc11a1)—which allowed comparisons of the impact of these genes on resistance to pinworm infection. Male and female mice of various ages were sampled over an 18-month period; infection was determined by use of the cellophane tape test. Results indicated that mice that were MHCII+/+ had a significantly lower prevalence of infection than did mice that were MHCII-/-. Differences were not seen between male and female mice. Although MHCII+/+ mice had an age-associated decrease in infection prevalence, such decrease was not seen in MHCII-/- mice. In contrast, infection prevalence in mice with the normal Tlr4 gene (Tlr4LPS-n/LPS-n) gene did not differ significantly compared with that in mice that were homozygous for either the point mutation (Tlr4LPS-d/LPS-d) or deletion (Tlr4LPS-del/LPS-del) of that gene. Likewise, the presence (Slc11a1r/r) or absence (Slc11a1s/s) of functional alleles for Slc11a1 had no effect on the prevalence of infection with S. obvelata. In conclusion, presence of MHCII, but not Tlr4 or Slc11a1 significantly influences prevalence of naturally acquired infection with S. obvelata. These data justify further comprehensive analyses of the immune components that are involved in pinworm resistance.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, 1800 Denison Ave. 2: Division of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506

Publication date: 01 February 2003

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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