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Viability ofSarcocystis neuronasporocysts and dose titration in gamma-interferon knockout mice

Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-4017(00)00419-2
  • Sarcocystis Neurona
  • Gamma-Interferon Knockout Mice
  • Neurologic
  • Medicine


Abstract Gamma-interferon knockout mice have become the model animal used for studies on Sarcocystis neurona. In order to determine the viability of S. neurona sporocysts and to evaluate the course of the disease in these mice, sporocysts were collected from opossums ( Didelphis virginiana), processed, and stored for varying periods of time. Gamma-interferon knockout mice were then inoculated orally with different isolates at different doses. These animals were observed daily for clinical signs until they died or it appeared necessary to humanely euthanize them. 15 of 17 (88%) mice died or showed clinical signs consistent with neurologic disease. The clinical neurologic symptoms observed in these mice appeared to be similar to those observed in horses. 15 of 17 (88%) mice were euthanized or dead by day 35 and organisms were observed in the brains of 13 of 17 (77%) mice. Dose appeared not to effect clinical signs, but did effect the amount of time in which the course of disease was completed with some isolates. The minimum effective dose in this study was 500 orally inoculated sporocysts. Efforts to titrate to smaller doses were not attempted. Direct correlation can be made between molecularly characterized S. neurona sporocysts and their ability to cause neurologic disease in gamma-interferon knockout mice.

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