Title

Characterization of experimental Leishmania/hookworm co-infection Model

Presenter Information

Diana Ek

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Co-infection with different infectious agents within a host is a common occurrence. However, no study has focused on Leishmania/hookworm co-infection. Such studies are of interest since both parasites do occur in the same geographical regions. Our study examined disease progression during the co-infection with the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum and Leishmania major in the hamster Mesocricetus auratus. We hypothesized that the hookworm’s ability to increase levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the host will help the host resolve L. major lesion because NO effectively kills L. major. Hamsters were infected with either 75 stage three hookworm larvae, 6x10source_6 L. major, or both. Measurement of weight and lesion size, serum collection, hookworm fecal egg count and hemoglobin assays were conducted weekly. Parasite burden and characterization of immune response were determined by intestinal hookworm count, limiting dilution assay, proliferation assay, FACS, ELISA, and NO assay after sacrifice at 15 weeks post-infection (PI). There was no significant difference seen in hemoglobin level, egg count, cell proliferation, or antibody levels against hookworm soluble antigens between mono-infected and co-infected hamsters. There was however a significantly lower Leishmania antibody level in the co-infected group compared to the mono-infected groups at 15 weeks PI. The lesion size of co-infected hamsters was also significantly reduced as from 10 weeks PI suggesting that co-infection with hookworm might assist the host to successfully resolve L. major infection as predicted.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Blaise Dondji

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 17th, 12:40 PM May 17th, 12:59 PM

Characterization of experimental Leishmania/hookworm co-infection Model

SURC 137A

Co-infection with different infectious agents within a host is a common occurrence. However, no study has focused on Leishmania/hookworm co-infection. Such studies are of interest since both parasites do occur in the same geographical regions. Our study examined disease progression during the co-infection with the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum and Leishmania major in the hamster Mesocricetus auratus. We hypothesized that the hookworm’s ability to increase levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the host will help the host resolve L. major lesion because NO effectively kills L. major. Hamsters were infected with either 75 stage three hookworm larvae, 6x10source_6 L. major, or both. Measurement of weight and lesion size, serum collection, hookworm fecal egg count and hemoglobin assays were conducted weekly. Parasite burden and characterization of immune response were determined by intestinal hookworm count, limiting dilution assay, proliferation assay, FACS, ELISA, and NO assay after sacrifice at 15 weeks post-infection (PI). There was no significant difference seen in hemoglobin level, egg count, cell proliferation, or antibody levels against hookworm soluble antigens between mono-infected and co-infected hamsters. There was however a significantly lower Leishmania antibody level in the co-infected group compared to the mono-infected groups at 15 weeks PI. The lesion size of co-infected hamsters was also significantly reduced as from 10 weeks PI suggesting that co-infection with hookworm might assist the host to successfully resolve L. major infection as predicted.