Nematodes in Immunodeprived and Genetically Immunodefective Rodents

  • Bridget M. Ogilvie
  • Michele Jungery


Most of the nematodes that parasitise man or domestic animals are host-specific. The filarial nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti and Onchocerca volvulus, in particular, develop to maturity only in man and some monkeys. Filarial nematodes are usually unable to develop beyond the early 4th larval stage in rats and mice, but the adult stages or microfilariae may persist for some weeks in mice when transplanted from a permissive host. Mice infected in this way have been described as ‘proxy’ hosts (Nelson et al., 1966). Certain nematodes that infect man develop in less common laboratory rodents, such as hamsters (Necator americanus: Sen, 1972) and jirds (Brugia spp: Denham, this volume). Other nematodes will complete only part of their life cycle in rodents — for example, Ascaris, which does not develop much beyond the 3rd larval stage in the lungs and liver of rodents. In contrast, Trichinella spiralis shows little host specificity, infecting man, rats and mice and mammals in general, and is in consequence the most studied of all nematodes.


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Copyright information

© The contributors 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bridget M. Ogilvie
    • 1
  • Michele Jungery
    • 2
  1. 1.The Wellcome TrustLondonUK
  2. 2.Tropical Disease Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical MedicineJohn Radcliffe HospitalHeadington, OxfordUK

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