The C.B.-17-scid/scid mouse (hereafter referred to as the scid mouse) is homozygous for a recessive mutation at a locus that influences the assembly of intact immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genes. Therefore, scid mice cannot generate functional B or T lymphocytes, are profoundly immunodeficient, and have been reported to be receptive to reconstitution with human immune cells. In the present study, we injected scid mice with infective larvae of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi. Within 6-10 wk after subcutaneous injection of infective L3 larvae, both male and female worms were observed in various stages of development in 90% of the mice. In animals tested 8 weeks or more after infection, microfilariae were detected in the blood or peritoneal cavity of 52% of the mice examined. Adult worms were observed in the lymphatics of the infected scid mice, where their presence was associated with lymphangitis and lymphangiectasia. These results suggest that the scid mouse model of lymphatic filariasis may be important in investigation of the interaction of the murine, and possibly the human, immune system with the lymphatic filarial parasite.

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