Age range implications of rats over Strongyloides venezuelensis infection
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Objective: To evaluate the dynamics of S. venezuelensis infection in Wistar rats of different age ranges. Design: Thirty-five (n = 35, 7 per group) male Wistar rats were distributed according to age into five groups: 2, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months old (mo). The rats were infected by S. venezuelensis and eggs per gram of feces (EPG) were measured at 3, 9, 15 and 21 days post-infection (dpi). All animals were killed at 21 dpi, thymus, lungs and small intestines were removed, and relative weight calculated. The adult worms recovered from the small intestines and blood cells were counted. Results: Rats in advanced age presented higher parasite oviposition at 9 dpi and posterior reduction of EPG, while young rats still showed higher oviposition at 15 dpi and 21 dpi. At 12 and 18 mo, the rats had greater number of adult worms, which with low fecundity, eosinophilia and least concentration of monocytes. The fecundity of worms was more expressive in young rats. A strong correlation was observed between age and EPG at 9 dpi (R = 0.72, p < 0.0001), at 15 (R = −0.66, p < 0.0001) and at 21 dpi (R = −0.65, p < 0.0001), as well as age and numbers of worms at 21 dpi (R = 0.74, p < 0.0001). The relative weight of the thymus, lungs and small intestines were higher in rats at 2 and 3 mo in comparison to the older groups of rats. Conclusions: Aging process interfered on host-parasite relationship and changed the dynamics of infection of S. venezuelensis in Wistar rats.