Susceptibility of Inbred Mice to Leishmania major Infection: Genetic Analysis of Macrophage Activation and Innate Resistance to Disease in Individual Progeny of P/J (Susceptible) and C3H/HeN (Resistant) Mice
WALTER REED ARMY INST OF RESEARCH WASHINGTON DC
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The leishmanias are protozoan parasites that infect and replicate only inside macrophages in their mammalian hosts. This intracellular niche presents a unique opportunity for the parasite to evade many humoral host defense mechanisms. The one immunologic response that the parasite cannot evade, however, is the acquisition of potent intracellular killing activities of immunologically stimulated macrophages. Thus, a particular hosts natural resistance to infection with this parasite may depend upon its ability to activate macrophages for the destruction of intracellular parasites. When inbred mouse strains are analyzed for host response to infection with Leishmania major, a parasite that causes a cutaneous disease with systemic sequelae, only a few strains are susceptible.
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