Trypanosoma cruzi: Role of the immune response in the natural resistance of inbred strains of mice

Thomas Trischmann, Herbert Tanowitz, Murray Wittner, Barry Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Nine inbred strains of mice were challenged with 104 or 105 trypomastigotes of the Brazil strain of Trypanosoma cruzi. A spectrum of resistance was evident ranging from highly susceptible strains, e.g., C3H, which developed high parasitemias and died within 3 to 4 weeks, to resistant strains, e.g., C57BL/10, which developed low parasitemias and survived. Impairment of the immune system in resistant C57BL/10 mice by X-irradiation, splenectomy, or treatment with silica led to high, often fatal parasitemias. Athymic nude mice, in particular, attained exceptionally high parasitemias before dying. The immune response appears to be necessary for survival and to play a role in the natural resistance of some mouse strains by effectively eliminating parasites and minimizing parasitemia. Using congenic strains of mice, it was shown that the principal genetic determinant of resistance is not associated with their H-2 haplotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • Chagas' disease
  • Genes for immune response
  • Genetic locus
  • H-2
  • Hemoflagellate
  • Mouse
  • Protozoa
  • Resistance
  • Silica
  • Splenectomy
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • X-irradiation
  • inbred strains
  • natural
  • nude
  • parasitic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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