Trypanosoma musculi is a parasite specific to mice, which resides in the blood and lacks intracellular stages. After immune clearance of the flagellates from the general circulation, mice are resistant to reinfection. Yet, long after parasites are no longer detected in the peripheral blood, they persist in the vasa recta of the kidneys and it has been proposed that this is an immunologically privileged site for T. musculi. This relationship provides a useful model for studies of latent or chronic infections in immune hosts. Here, Fernando Monroy and Donald Dusanic consider the immune responses of mice to T. musculi and compare characteristics of the parasites from the vasa recta (kidney forms, KFs) of mice with latent infections to trypanosomes from the peripheral blood (bloodstream forms, BSFs) of animals during active infections. They consider how KFs evade immune destruction and suggest that these sequestered parasites represent a distinct stage in the life cycle. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas