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Establishment of cutaneous Leishmania enriettii infection in hamsters.

  • A Belehu
  • J L Turk
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1976
  • Biology
  • Medicine


A model of a self-healing type of cutaneous leishmaniasis was established in hamsters using the guinea pig parasite Leishmania enriettii. L. enriettii was passaged several times in hamsters without losing its infectivity for guinea pigs or for hamsters. The course of the infection in hamsters resembled that of guinea pigs, with the exception that the lesion at the site of parasite inoculation did not ulcerate and no metastatic lesions developed spontaneously. Moreover, unlike guinea pigs, infected or recovered hamsters were skin test unresponsive to various preparations of L. enriettii antigens. However, histological examination of draining lymph nodes showed features of a cell-mediated immune response, and in vitro inhibition of macrophage migration was demonstrable using peritoneal exudate cells from recovered animals and specific leishmanial antigen. Antibody was demonstrable by indirect immunofluorescence starting 1 week after infection. Recovered animals were immune to reinfection; however, the passive transfer of peritoneal exudate cells or serum from recovered animals did not confer protection against L. enriettii infection in normal animals.

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