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Evaluating host–parasite co-adaptation relationships involving Angiostrongylus costaricensis

Garrido, C.T., Morassutti, A.L., Barradas, J.R.S., Graeff-Teixeira, C.
Journal of helminthology 2019 v.93 no.1 pp. 76-80
Angiostrongylus, Mus musculus, Oligoryzomys, Rattus norvegicus, Sigmodon hispidus, adults, hosts, inoculum, laboratory animals, mice, models, parasites, rats, survival rate, wild animals
Angiostrongylus costaricensis is a parasite that infects rodents, including the wild cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus and pygmy rice rats Oligoryzomys spp., among others. However, urban Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus have not been identified as important hosts of A. costaricensis. In this study, Swiss mice (SW), Wistar R. norvegicus (RN), wild Oligoryzomys nigripes (ON) and a local strain of M. musculus (RGS) were experimentally infected with A. costaricensis. Survival, elimination of L1 (total sum per group, A₀), and the number of adult worms recovered divided by the dose of each L3 inoculum (yield ratio, YR) were examined for each group after a 40-day post-infection period. The survival rates, A₀ and YR values were: 27%, 207,589 and 0.42 for the SW group; 81%, 8691 and 0.01 for the RN group; and 63.6%, 26,560 and 0.16 for the RGS group, respectively, in each case. The survival rate for the ON group was 100% and the A₀ value was 847,050. A YR was not calculated for the ON group since the ON group was maintained up to 565 days post-infection (pi) to examine long-term mortality. At 500 days pi (16 months), 50% of the ON group had died, while one animal (10%) survived 595 days pi (20 months). Taken together, these data indicate that A. costaricensis has undergone a greater degree of adaptation to the wild rodent, O. nigripes, than to R. norvegicus or a local M. musculus strain. In addition, titre curve (A₀) modelling of adaptation status proved to be useful in evaluating A. costaricensis–rodent interactions.