Parasite immunology

Host immune reactions and worm kinetics during the expulsion of Ascaris suum in pigs.

PMID 15882234


Pigs single inoculated with Ascaris suum eggs expel the majority of larvae between days 14 and 21 post inoculation (p.i.), but the role of the immune system in expulsion is unclear. To investigate the dynamics of immune responses before, during and after the expulsion of A. suum larvae, pigs inoculated with 10 000 A. suum eggs were sequentially necropsied. Ascaris suum gradually moved distally from days 10-14 p.i. and only a few larvae were left by day 21 p.i. Pronounced increases in mucosal A. suum-specific IgA antibody secreting cells (ASCs) were already found by day 10 p.i. especially in the proximal jejunum, while only small increases in parasite-specific IgM ASCs were observed by day 21 p.i. in both proximal and distal jejunum. No mucosal IgG ASC responses could be detected. Increases in systemic A. suum-specific IgG1, IgM and to a lesser extent IgA antibodies were observed, while IgG2 remained almost unchanged. The levels of eosinophils and mast cells in the small intestinal mucosa did not change throughout infection. The results demonstrate that both systemic and mucosal A. suum-specific effector mechanisms are strongly stimulated in A. suum single infections and indicate that mucosal IgA may be an important mediator in the expulsion of A. suum.