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Larval migration in PERL chambers as an in vitro model for percutaneous infection stimulates feeding in the canine hookworm Ancylostoma caninum

Author(s): Franke Daniela | Strube Christina | Epe Christian | Welz Claudia | Schnieder Thomas

Journal: Parasites & Vectors
ISSN 1756-3305

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Ancylostoma caninum third-stage larvae are the non-feeding infective stage of this parasite and are able to infect potential hosts via different infection routes. Since percutaneous infection is one of the most important routes and skin penetration is the first step into parasitic life, an existing in vitro model for percutaneous migration was modified and evaluated. The main parameter used to evaluate migration was the migration ratio (migrated larvae as a percentage of total number of larvae recovered). Additionally, the skin lag was calculated, expressing the percentage of larvae remaining in the skin and therefore not being recovered. Since initiation of feeding is proposed to be an important step in the transition from free-living to parasitic A. caninum larvae, feeding assays were performed with in vitro percutaneously migrated larvae. Additionally, infective larvae of A. caninum were activated via serum-stimulation and feeding behaviour was analysed and compared between percutaneously migrated and serum-stimulated larvae. Results Maximum skin migration levels of infective larvae were observed at temperatures above 32°C when larvae were placed on the epidermal side of skin for more than 12 hours. The medium beneath the skin had no effect on migration ratio, and no significant difference between the migration ratios through fresh and frozen/thawed skin was observed. Maximum feeding levels of 93.2% were observed for percutaneously migrated larvae after 48 h incubation, whereas serum-stimulated larvae reached the maximum of 91.0% feeding larvae after 24 h. Conclusions The PERL chamber system was optimised and standardised as an in vitro model for percutaneous migration. The larvae recovered after percutaneous migration showed characteristic signs of activation similar to that of serum-stimulated larvae. The observed difference in time course of resumption of feeding indicates that percutaneously migrated larvae are not identical to serum-stimulated larvae, which are currently representing the model for early parasitic stages.
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