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Hepatozoon griseisciuri in grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): changes of blood leucocyte numbers resulting from infection

Watkins, B.M. and Nowell, F. (2003) Hepatozoon griseisciuri in grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): changes of blood leucocyte numbers resulting from infection. Parasitology, 127. pp. 115-120. ISSN 0031-1820

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/s0031182003003378

Abstract/Summary

Numbers of leucocytes in squirrels with gametocytes of Hepatozoon in their blood (infected) were compared with animals without gametocytes (uninfected). Typical values for leucocytes/mm(3) blood in uninfected squirrels were: leucocytes 5-7 x 10(3), granulocytes 3-4 x 10(3), lymphocytes 2-0 x 10(3) and monocytes 0-3 x 10(3) cells. Infection caused an increase in monocytes, lymphocytes and granulocytes, and there was a significant positive association between parasitaemia level and numbers of both total leucocytes and monocytes. Infected animals had more uninfected monocytes/mm(3) blood than did uninfected animals. The proportions of monocytes were more variable over time in infected animals, but no shift between infected and uninfected status was detected. Transfer of serum from infected squirrels to mice resulted in elevated counts of total blood leucocytes, monocytes and granulocytes, but not of lymphocytes, as compared with controls. Serum from squirrels with high parasitaemias had a more marked effect than serum from squirrels with low parasitaemias. Results indicate an infection - related monocytosis, possibly controlled by cytokines, that increases the number of cells available for invasion by gametocytes, thus enhancing the chances of parasite transmission.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10901
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sciurus carolinensis, Hepatozoon, leucocytes, monocytes, monocytosis, cytokines, IMMUNE-RESPONSES, GRAY SQUIRREL, PARASITES

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