Role of innate and adaptive immunity in experimental murine filariasis

Date of Completion

January 1999


Biology, Cell|Biology, Microbiology|Health Sciences, Pathology|Health Sciences, Immunology




Immunity to experimental infection of mice with the human filarial parasite, Brugia malayi is dependent on the presence of an intact adaptive immune system. Dissection of the components of adaptive immunity reveals that B cells are more important than T cells in this resistance and that normal clearance of worms occurs between weeks two and six post-infection. Further characterization of the immune response implicates a critical role for IL-4 but not IFNγ and Nos2 in host defense. ^ The study of the role of innate immunity in infection reveals a novel role for NK cells. The development and/or survival of L4 larvae from L3 larvae is dependent on the NK cell activity of the host strain used. Studies using partially T-cell mice suggest that T cells can mediate the same function. So we conclude that B. malayi seeks residence in the lymph nodes and lymphatics because it requires certain developmental cues from host T and NK cells. This phenomenon provides us with a novel approach to combat infection by targeting for neutralization the molecules involved in this host—parasite interaction. ^