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Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1357-1370. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1357

Research Paper

Gastrointestinal Infection with Mexican TcI Trypanosoma cruzi strains: Different Degrees of Colonization and Diverse Immune Responses

Bertha Espinoza, Natalia Solorzano-Domínguez, Andrea Vizcaino-Castillo, Ignacio Martínez, Ana L. Elias-López, José Antonio Rodríguez-Martínez.

Departamento de Inmunología. Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Mexico City 04510.


Mexican Ninoa and Queretaro (Qro) TcI strains of Trypanosoma cruzi have shown different degrees of virulence, and the two strains produce heterogeneous immune responses in the hearts of infected mice. This work shows that the same strains can invade the intestine by an intraperitoneal route and establish an infection, mainly in the colon. The three segments of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum and ileum) were infected to a lesser degree than the colon. Despite the fact that parasites were predominantly found in the colon, an obvious inflammatory reaction was observed in the submucosal layer along the entire intestinal tract, with the virulent Qro strain causing significantly more areas of higher immune infiltration. A clear recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes to the mesenteric ganglia was observed during infection with the virulent strain. Macrophages were also differentially distributed in the gastrointestinal tract. These later cells infiltrated fewer amastigote nests in the mice infected with the Qro strain than in the mice infected with the Ninoa strain. When IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-4 levels were measured, an increase in these cytokines was observed compared with the uninfected mice. The role of these inflammatory reactions in the pathogenesis of Chagas enteropathy is also discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Intestinal infection, Mexican Trypanosome cruzi strains

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Espinoza B, Solorzano-Domínguez N, Vizcaino-Castillo A, Martínez I, Elias-López AL, Rodríguez-Martínez. JA. Gastrointestinal Infection with Mexican TcI Trypanosoma cruzi strains: Different Degrees of Colonization and Diverse Immune Responses. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1357-1370. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1357. Available from