Experimental parasitology

Influence of experimental infection by Haemonchus contortus on acetylcholinesterase activity in lymphocytes of lambs.

PMID 24560768


The aim of this study was to evaluate the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in lymphocytes of lambs experimentally infected by Haemonchus contortus. A total of 14 healthy lambs were used, divided into two groups of seven animals each. Group A (negative control) represented the uninfected animals, and Group B (positive control) was formed by animals infected with 15,000 larvae of H. contortus. Blood was drawn on the days 15, 45 and 75 post-infection (PI) in order to perform the white blood cells (WBC) count, as well as the evaluation of AChE activity in lymphocytes. Parasitological stool exam (eggs per gram of feces - EPG) was performed on the same days to follow up the evolution of the infection. On day 15 PI it was verified negative EPG; however, on days 45 and 75 PI it was observed positive EPG only in the animals of group B. In the three evaluated periods was observed a lower number of leukocytes, associated with decreased lymphocytes and neutrophils in lambs infected by this gastrointestinal nematodes. Lambs infected with H. contortus showed significant (P<0.01) lower AChE activity in lymphocytes compared uninfected. Statistically, there was a positive correlation (P<0.05) between AChE activity in lymphocytes and number of lymphocytes (r=0.69). The lymphocytes are cells with direct participation in the cholinergic system; therefore, based on these results, it can be concluded that the experimental infection with H. contortus influences the number of lymphocytes, and consequently the AChE activity in these cells.