Differential infectivity and immunopathology in murine experimental infections by two natural clones belonging to the Trypanosoma cruzi I lineage
Immunopathology of Chagas' disease in Balb/c mice infected with 2 Trypanosoma cruzi clones, belonging to the T. cruzi I lineage and presenting different in vitro virulence (P/209 cl1>SO34 cl4) was compared. In the acute phase, evading mechanisms such as parasite-induced lymphocyte polyclonal activation and T cell immunosuppression were higher in mice infected with the clone giving a higher parasitaemia (P/209 cl1). A similar increase of non-specific isotypes was observed in both infections with IgG2a prevalence. Interestingly, CD8+ cell hypercellularity and lymphocyte immunosuppression were observed during the chronic phase (245 days post-infection) in mice infected by the most virulent clone. In the same way, the parasite-specific antibody response was more intense in P/209 cl1-infected mice over the acute phase. During the chronic phase this response remarkably dropped down in SO34 cl4-infected mice exclusively. Finally, P/209 cl1-infected mice presented a more severe inflammation and tissue damage in heart and quadriceps than SO34 cl4-infected mice. This comparative study showed differences between the two clones: a higher virulence in vivo being clearly associated with a greater ability to induce evasion mechanisms and severe tissue damage.(Received July 6 2004)
(Revised December 1 2004)
(Accepted December 3 2004)
Key Words: Trypanosoma cruzi; genotype; immunopathology; virulence; mouse.
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