The Immune Response of the Laboratory Mouse Subjected to 'Trichinella Spiralis' and Prednisone
Reece, Mark Alan
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The problem. This project studied the effect of prednisone on the immune system of young white laboratory mice infected with Trichinella spiralis. Procedure. Mice were divided into the following four groups: 1) T. spiralis-infected, 2) prednisone-injected, 3) T. spiralis-infected and prednisone-injected, and 4) normal controls. Three days prior to the inoculation of T. spiralis to groups one and three, prednisone injections were initiated on alternate days to groups two and three. At the end of the thirty day life cycle of T. spiralis, sera was drawn from the four groups for an agar gel-diffusion and precipitin test to show prednisone's effect on the immunoglobin production due to the Trichinella larvae. The number of larvae in the diaphragm muscle was also determined to insure infection had occurred, and to show prednisone's effect on the susceptibility to infection. Findings. The "T. spiralis-nfected:prednisone-injected" group had a 23% higher frequency of larvae present in the diaphragm muscle than did the "T. spiralis-infected" group. Prednisone treated mice demonstrated a marked decrease in weight gain as compared to the other groups. Conclusions and Recommendations. Prednisone appeared to immunosuppress the mice, resulting in an enhanced Trichinella infection, and decreased the total weight gain of the mice. For further study, the use of multiple infections, a longer period of time before the sera is collected, and perhaps heavier infection doses of Trichinella may facilitate the antibody study. A histological study would be useful in investigation of the effects of prednisone on the immuno-competent regions.
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