Characterisation of susceptibility of chicken macrophages to infection with Toxoplasma gondii of type II and III strains

Malkwitz, I.; Berndt, Angela GND; Daugschies, A.; Bangoura, B.

Toxoplasma gondii is known to be able to infect any nucleated cell including immune cells like macrophages. In addition, it is assumed that macrophages serve as trojan horse during distribution in hosts. The underlying causes of parasite host interaction remain yet not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate susceptibility of chicken macrophages to infection with T. gondii and the process of infection in avian cells in comparison to cells of mammalian origin. Primary avian blood monocyte-derived macrophages were infected with tachyzoites of type II (ME49) and III (NED) strains. Long term observations of parasite replication in primary macrophages were compared to data obtained in an avian macrophage cell line (HD11) and a standard cultivation mammalian cell line (VERO). Furthermore, we assessed the immune response of the primary macrophages by long-term investigation of gene expression of IL-1 beta, IL-12p40, Lipopolysaccharide induced TNF-alpha factor (LITAF) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) comparing viable and heat-inactivated tachyzoites of the ME49 strain. Albeit, we found no differences between both strains, replication of tachyzoites in avian primary macrophages was significantly different from immortalised cell lines HD11 and VERO. The crucial period of parasite replication was between 8 and 24 h post-infection coinciding with the upregulation of gene expression of cytokines and iNOS revealing an active macrophage response at this period. Gene expression in macrophages was higher after infection with viable tachyzoites than by exposure of cells to heat-inactivated tachyzoites. Hence, we conclude that the process of penetration is pivotal for host cell response to the parasite both in avian as in mammalian cells.

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Malkwitz, I. / Berndt, Angela / Daugschies, A. / et al: Characterisation of susceptibility of chicken macrophages to infection with Toxoplasma gondii of type II and III strains. 2018.

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