Indexed on: 25 Jan '07Published on: 25 Jan '07Published in: International Journal of Experimental Pathology
The responses of animal experimental models related to the infectivity, virulence and pathogenicity of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is constantly used to develop new perspectives of investigation. The rodent Calomys callosus, Rengger 1830 (Rodentia: Cricetidae) is an indigenous inhabitant of the savannah environment found in the central regions of Brazil. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the histopathological and serological features of C. callosus after inoculation with the Pb18 strain of P. brasiliensis. Furthermore, A/Sn and B10.A mice strains were also tested to compare the results obtained in C. callosus to these well-established experimental models of resistance and susceptibility respectively. In every instance, survival analysis was performed, and histopathological study of the lungs, liver and spleen was employed to investigate tissue involvement, degree of inflammation and fungal presence. Levels of antibodies to P. brasiliensis were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay after 4 weeks and at the advanced stage of infection. The mortality rate was proportional to inoculation dose in all groups, but overall it was much superior in C. callosus than in the B10.A-susceptible mice. Macroscopical and microscopical pathological alterations were also more extensive and remarkable for C. callosus, once again proportional to inoculation dose, but more noticeable differences among the studied groups were found with 0.6x10(5) inoculum. In addition, the serological profile of C. callosus was similar to that found for B10.A-susceptible mice. Infection of C. callosus with 0.6x10(8) Pb18 inoculum resulted in more serious illness, and it decreased in severity in proportion to the inoculum dose. This difference was more pronounced in C. callosus, and the clinical, serological and pathological findings in this animal were more intense and precocious compared with the B10.A-susceptible mice. The present results suggest that C. callosus is a potentially alternative experimental animal model for paracoccidioidomycosis infection.