Giardiasis in mice: Studies on the characteristics of chronic infection in C3H/He mice Academic Article uri icon


  • When C3H/He mice are dosed orally with fecal cysts or trophozoites of the intestinal parasite, Giardia muris, they become chronically infected, whereas BALB/c (or DBA/2) mice rapidly eliminate their infection. The ability to eliminate a primary infection or resist a challenge infection was not related to levels of serum IgA antibody directed against a crude extract of trophozoites. The possibility that the development of host-protective immunity may either be delayed or absent in C3H/He mice was investigated by 2 types of experiment: 1) BALB/c and C3H/He mice were drug-cured at various times after a primary infection and assessed for their ability to resist reinfection, and 2) the ability of infected female mice to protect their suckling young was assessed. Under these experimental conditions, no significant difference in the kinetics of development of resistance to a challenge infection was noted. Thus, mice of both strains were capable of resisting a challenge infection after drug-cured and infected mothers were able to protect their suckling young from a challenge infection. Drug-cured long-term infected mice were resistant to a challenge of either cysts or trophozoites obtained from either 1-wk infected nude mice or long-term infected C2H/He mice. Thus, it is unlikely that the explanation for chronic infection oif C3H/He mice is that variants or a modified population of G. muris trophozoites arise to which C3H/He mice have a defective response. The possibility that G. muris is able to suppress host-protective responses in chronically-infected C3H/He mice but not in BALB/c mice is discussed.


  • Underdown, BJ
  • Roberts-Thomson, IC
  • Anders, RF
  • Mitchell, GF

publication date

  • January 1, 1981