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Immunity mediates host specificity in the human hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum.

Authors
  • Langeland, Andrea1
  • McKean, Elise L1
  • O'Halloran, Damien M1
  • Hawdon, John M2
  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
  • 2 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasitology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
151
Issue
1
Pages
102–107
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0031182023001208
PMID: 38018393
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Hookworm infection affects millions globally, leading to chronic conditions like malnutrition and anaemia. Among the hookworm species, Ancylostoma ceylanicum stands out as a generalist, capable of infecting various hosts, including humans, cats, dogs and hamsters. Surprisingly, it cannot establish in mice, despite their close phylogenetic relationship to hamsters. The present study investigated the development of A. ceylanicum in immunodeficient NSG mice to determine the contribution of the immune system to host restriction. The infections became patent on day 19 post-infection (PI) and exhibited elevated egg production which lasted for at least 160 days PI. Infective A. ceylanicum larvae reared from eggs released by infected NSG mice were infectious to hamsters and capable of reproduction, indicating that the adults in the NSG mice were producing viable offspring. In contrast, A. ceylanicum showed limited development in outbred Swiss Webster mice. Furthermore, the closely related canine hookworm Ancylostoma caninum was unable to infect and develop in NSG mice, indicating that different mechanisms may determine host specificity even in closely related species. This is the first report of any hookworm species completing its life cycle in a mouse and implicate the immune system in determining host specificity in A. ceylanicum.

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