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Toxocara canis: Analysis of the kinetics of antigen release and antibody production in an in vivo model for the detection of past or present infection

Rodríguez-Caballero, Aarón, Martínez-Gordillo, Mario Noé, Caballero-Salazar, Silvia, Rufino-González, Yadira, Ponce-Macotela, Martha
Veterinary parasitology 2017 v.243 pp. 183-187
Toxocara canis, antibodies, antibody formation, antigens, blood flow, blood sampling, eggs, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, hatching, helminths, host-parasite relationships, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, larva migrans, larvae, mice, models, paratenic hosts, public health
Worldwide, Toxocara canis is an important zoonotic nematode of public health concern. This soil-transmitted helminth causes visceral larva and ocular larva migrans in paratenic hosts. The detection of T. canis larva migrans is complicated because current immunological tests detect only IgG antibodies, which can cross-react with antigens from other parasites and cannot distinguish between the past and present infection. Analysis of antigen release and antibody production could help improve the detection of larva migrans. Here, we report the kinetics of antigen release, IgM and IgG production in an in vivo model for the detection of past or present infection. We used four groups of seven mice: two groups infected orally with 50 or 100 embryonated eggs, and the other two infected intraperitoneally with 50 or 100 live larvae. We obtained blood samples at 0, 3, 7, and 14days and, then, every two weeks until day 140. Sandwich ELISA and indirect ELISA were performed for antigen capture and the detection of immunoglobulins, respectively. Mice inoculated with larvae developed an immune response faster than those inoculated with eggs. In all groups, antigen capture was positive starting at 3days until 140days post-inoculation (dpi). Detection of immunoglobulins was at 14 or 28dpi in mice inoculated with larvae or eggs, respectively. Negative IgM values were detected at days 98 and 112. The samples remained positive for IgG until the last day of the experiment. Data suggest that in mice inoculated with T canis eggs, some larvae did not hatch, others died or never reached the bloodstream. Based on our model, we propose that there is early infection when only antigens are present, and active larva migrans when antigen and immunoglobulins are detected, implying an immune response of the host against the antigen.Our study offers a view into the parasite-host relationship and enables us to infer if there are live larvae. Additionally, these findings provide a foundation for the diagnosis and differentiation of recent infection and active larva migrans.