Giardiasis in mice. I. Prolonged infections in certain mouse strains and hypothymic (nude) mice

Gastroenterology. 1978 Jul;75(1):42-6.


The natural history of Giardia muris has been studied in inbred mouse strains and hypothymic (nude) mice derived from a specific pathogen-free facility. Although giardiasis was readily established in several mouse strains, marked variation was observed in the time course of spontaneous elimination of the parasite. During a 10-week study, fecal excretion of Giardia cysts remained relatively constant in C3H/He mice, but decreased at a variable rate in other mouse strains. Resistance to reinfection was greater in strains in which the duration of primary infection was relatively short. Hypothymic (nude) mice derived from a strain showing a relatively rapid elimination of Giardia (BALB/c) maintained a stable infection with high cyst counts. Nude mice reconstituted with lymphoid cells from syngeneic thymus-intact mice showed a progressive reduction in cyst excretion and reconstitution with limited numbers of lymphoid cells from thymus-intact mice previously exposed to Giardia accelerated resolution of infection. In nude mice, giardiasis was associated with a reduction in the villus-crypt ratio of jejunal mucosa, but the degree of change was greater in nude mice reconstituted with lymphoid cells. This Giardia model involving inbred strains and nude mice permits further dissection of the function of thymus-derived cells in intestinal immune responses and induction of changes in small bowel morphology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Giardiasis* / immunology
  • Giardiasis* / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mice, Nude
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Time Factors