Author(s): Mansfield JM, Wallace JH
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Abstract Adult New Zealand white rabbits were experimentally infected with a parasitic African hemoflagellate, Trypanosoma congolense, and were subsequently tested for in vivo and in vitro aspects of cell-mediated immune function. Chronically infected rabbits were sensitized to mycobacterial protein and skin-tested with purified protein derivative; all infected animals demonstrated much milder skin-test responses to antigen than control groups. Similarly, peripheral blood lymphocyte responses in vitro to purified protein derivative and, as well, to phytohemagglutinin were markedly suppressed. Supernatant fluids of antigen-stimulated lymph node cell cultures from T. congolense-infected rabbits failed to demonstrate migration inhibitory factor activity but did possess normal levels of blastogenic factor activity. An active infection was necessary for demonstration of suppressed immune responses, and components present in infected rabbit serum were apparently not responsible for the observed abnormalities. Suppression of T-lymphocyte subpopulations may well explain the occurrence of numerous immunological aberrations arising during human and animal infections with the African trypanosomes.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health