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      Effect of route of infection on outcome of Toxoplasma gondii infection in hu-PBL SCID mice

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          Abstract

          Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) causes serious infection, especially in immunocompromised hosts. The relevance of animal models of toxoplasmosis to human disease is unclear, but have indicated that the route of Toxoplasma infection may affect the outcome. A humanized model of toxoplasmosis of immunocompromised mice (i.e. hu-PBL SCID), using the intraperitoneal (IP) route demonstrated long-term engraftment of human cells and worsening of inflammation compared to controls. In this study, we examined the effect of route of infection on this hu-PBL SCID model using a Toxoplasma strain (i.e. DAG) isolated from an immunocompromised human. Oral infection led to an asymptomatic infection, whereas animals infected by the IP route succumbed more quickly to infection. Human cells, detected through species-specific β-actin mRNA, were not as prominent in IP-infected animals as compared to orally infected and uninfected animals. There was evidence of control of toxoplasmosis in some orally infected animals, and this was associated with the presence of human cells in multiple tissues. Thus, the route of infection dramatically affects the outcome of infection, either by affecting parasite replication or expansion of human immune cells. Further studies of oral Toxoplasma infection using hu-PBL SCID mice may help in developing chemotherapies and immunotherapeutic strategies for toxoplasmosis.

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          Most cited references19

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          Humanized mice for immune system investigation: progress, promise and challenges.

          Significant advances in our understanding of the in vivo functions of human cells and tissues and the human immune system have resulted from the development of 'humanized' mouse strains that are based on severely immunodeficient mice with mutations in the interleukin-2 receptor common γ-chain locus. These mouse strains support the engraftment of a functional human immune system and permit detailed analyses of human immune biology, development and functions. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in the development and utilization of humanized mice, the lessons learnt, the remaining challenges and the promise of using humanized mice for the in vivo study of human immunology.
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            Direct and sensitive detection of a pathogenic protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii, by polymerase chain reaction.

            We applied the polymerase chain reaction to detection of the pathogenic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii based on our identification of a 35-fold-repetitive gene (the B1 gene) as a target. Using this procedure, we were able to amplify and detect the DNA of a single organism directly from a crude cell lysate. This level of sensitivity also allowed us to detect the B1 gene from purified DNA samples containing as few as 10 parasites in the presence of 100,000 human leukocytes. This is representative of the maximal cellular infiltration (10(5)/ml) in 1 ml of cerebrospinal fluid obtained from patients with toxoplasmic encephalitis. The B1 gene is present and conserved in all six T. gondii strains tested to date, including two isolates from patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. No signal was detected by using this assay and DNAs from a variety of other organisms, including several which might be found in the central nervous system of an immunocompromised host. This combination of sensitivity and specificity should make detection of the B1 gene based on polymerase chain reaction amplification a very useful method for diagnosis of toxoplasmosis both in immunocompromised hosts and in congenitally infected fetuses.
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              Association of CD4+ T cell-dependent, interferon-gamma-mediated necrosis of the small intestine with genetic susceptibility of mice to peroral infection with Toxoplasma gondii

              Since there is a remarkable difference in susceptibility to peroral infection with Toxoplasma gondii among inbred strains of mice, we performed studies to examine the mechanism(s) of this difference in susceptibility. After peroral infection with the ME49 strain of T. gondii, C57BL/6 (B6) mice all died whereas BALB/c mice all survived. At day 7 of infection (when B6 mice began dying), massive necrosis of the villi and mucosal cells in the ilea were observed in B6 but not in BALB/c mice. To analyze the role of T cells in resistance against death and development of necrosis in the ilea after infection, studies were performed using athymic nude and euthymic control B6 and BALB/c mice. Athymic B6 mice all died after infection, but surprisingly, they survived significantly longer than control B6 mice, indicating that T cells predispose to early death in these mice. Necrosis in the ilea was observed in control B6 but not in athymic B6 mice; however, significantly less numbers of tachyzoites were observed in the ilea of the former than the latter mice. These results indicate that necrosis in the ilea of the B6 mice was not due to destruction of tissue by tachyzoites but was mediated by T cells. This deleterious effect of T cells appears to contribute to early death in these mice. In contrast, T cells conferred resistance against death in BALB/c mice but did not cause necrosis in their ilea. To analyze the T cell subset(s) that induces necrosis of the ilea in B6 mice, we examined histological changes of the small intestines after infection of mutant mice deficient in different T cell subsets (with the same H-2b haplotype as B6 mice). Mice deficient in alpha/beta or CD4+ T cells did not develop necrosis in the ilea, whereas wild-type control mice and mice deficient in gamma/delta or CD8+ T cells did, suggesting that the cells that induce necrosis in the ilea after infection are CD4+ alpha/beta T cells. Since interferon (IFN)-gamma has been shown to be critical for survival of BALB/c mice after infection with T. gondii, we examined the role of this cytokine in resistance/susceptibility of infected B6 mice. Treatment of B6 mice with anti-IFN-gamma monoclonal antibody shortly before they developed illness prolonged time to death and prevented necrosis in the ilea in these mice. These results indicate that IFN- gamma mediates necrosis in the ilea of B6 mice after infection. This CD4+ T cell-dependent, IFN-gamma-mediated necrosis of the small intestines appears to be a mechanism that underlies the genetic susceptibility of B6 mice to peroral infection with T. gondii, whereas the same cytokine plays a critical role in the resistance of genetically resistant BALB/c mice.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                1886
                122234
                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                EuJMI
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                2062-509X
                2062-8633
                1 March 2013
                : 3
                : 1
                : 28-35
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
                [ 2 ] School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
                [ 3 ] Department of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus, Western Australia, Fremantle, Australia
                [ 4 ] Western Diagnostic Pathology, 74 McCoy St. Myaree, Western Australia, Fremantle, 6154, Australia
                Author notes

                These data were presented in part at Immunoparasitology Symposium, Woodshole, USA, 1999.

                Informed consent was obtained from patients. Experimentation followed guidelines of the Human Rights Committee, University of Western Australia.

                [* ] 61-8-9317-0999, 61-41-990-3457, 61-8-9317-1572, miles.beaman@ 123456wdp.com.au
                Article
                4
                10.1556/eujmi.3.2013.1.4
                e8f9e428-16d6-4c0f-ab9a-0a58946fd52a

                Medicine,Immunology,Health & Social care,Microbiology & Virology,Infectious disease & Microbiology
                p.i., post-infection,IP, intraperitoneal,hu-PBL SCID mice,route,p.c., peritoneal cavity,infection,PO, per oram,hu-PBL, human peripheral blood lymphocytes, Toxoplasma gondii

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