Transient Ascaris suum larval migration induces intractable chronic pulmonary disease and anemia in mice

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Dec 16;15(12):e0010050. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010050. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Ascariasis is one of the most common infections in the world and associated with significant global morbidity. Ascaris larval migration through the host's lungs is essential for larval development but leads to an exaggerated type-2 host immune response manifesting clinically as acute allergic airway disease. However, whether Ascaris larval migration can subsequently lead to chronic lung diseases remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that a single episode of Ascaris larval migration through the host lungs induces a chronic pulmonary syndrome of type-2 inflammatory pathology and emphysema accompanied by pulmonary hemorrhage and chronic anemia in a mouse model. Our results reveal that a single episode of Ascaris larval migration through the host lungs leads to permanent lung damage with systemic effects. Remote episodes of ascariasis may drive non-communicable lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic anemia in parasite endemic regions.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / genetics
  • Anemia / immunology
  • Anemia / parasitology*
  • Anemia / pathology
  • Animals
  • Ascariasis / genetics
  • Ascariasis / immunology
  • Ascariasis / parasitology*
  • Ascariasis / pathology
  • Ascaris suum / genetics
  • Ascaris suum / physiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / physiology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / parasitology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / genetics
  • Lung Diseases / immunology
  • Lung Diseases / parasitology*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Cytokines