Laboratory infection of primates with Ascaris suum to provide a model of allergic bronchoconstriction

Clin Exp Immunol. 1983 Nov;54(2):469-76.


Wild-caught non-human primates are naturally sensitive to Ascaris antigen and provide a useful model for studying atopic asthma. The present study was carried out to determine the effect of experimentally infecting home-bred macaques with the nematode Ascaris suum and hence provide an alternative for the naturally occurring model. Following oral infection with the parasite the animals developed a blood eosinophilia and specific antibodies to purified Ascaris antigen. These antibodies appeared to be of the IgE class as they could be detected by a radiometric assay using a radiolabelled antibody to human IgE. However, on further investigation, using the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis test, two classes of antibody were found, a heat labile (56 degrees C) and a heat stable antibody. Lung lavage cells taken from monkeys infected with Ascaris suum were shown to include cells morphologically characteristic of mast cells and released histamine when challenged in vitro with Ascaris antigen. Hence this model of immediate hypersensitivity provides a simple alternative to the less accessible natural model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Ascariasis / complications*
  • Ascariasis / immunology
  • Ascariasis / pathology
  • Ascaris / immunology
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Bronchi / ultrastructure
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Histamine Release
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / ultrastructure
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis
  • Time Factors


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Immunoglobulin E