Microsporidia and Mammalian Tumors
In the majority of affected species mammalian microsporidiosis is a mild disease and often it is not a disease at all, being “latent” without symptoms or signs. Different stimuli may activate the infection and in the literature a number of such cases has been documented, primarily among laboratory animals (Petri, 1969; Shadduck & Pakes, 1971). One notable exception is encephalitozoonosis of blue fox (Nordstoga, 1972) in which the disease carries an extremely high mortality due to lesions very much similar to polyarteritis nodosa in humans. Outbreaks have occurred also in Denmark and in a number of cases studied by the author (Petri, 1975) the lesions were multiple and severe. The significance of encephalitozoon infection in laboratory animals, therefore, is not primarily one of a pathogenic organism but one of interference with experimental results. The parasite is actually less pathogenic to the animals than to the experiment. The stress imposed upon a laboratory animal by an experiment may activate a silent infection, the signs of which will blend with those of the experiment.
KeywordsMammalian Tumor Ascitic Fluid Polyarteritis Nodosa Syrian Golden Hamster Ehrlich Carcinoma
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