A Trypanosoma cruzi strain from southern Mexico is more virulent for male mice in part by blocking the immune response
Introduction: Chagas disease is a neglected disease in the American continent. The southern Mexican state of Chiapas has the highest incidence rate of Chagas disease in the country. The disease, mainly caused by Tripanosoma cruzi in Mexico, is more prevalent in males than in females but the scientific basis for the sex-related tropism is not completely understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pathogenicity of a T. cruzi strain in mice of both sexes and to assess certain elements of the immune response in the infected animals.
Methodology: Triatomines bugs were searched at Los Mezcales, Chiapas, Mexico and T. cruzi was identified by PCR and sequencing. A T. cruzi strain was isolated from the feces of triatomines bugs. Mice were infected with the strain and the virulence of the T. cruzi strain as well as the immune response against the infection was compared in male versus female mice.
Results: T. dimidiata was identified in all dwellings. 42.9% of the bugs were infected with T. cruzi lineage TcI. Male mice exhibited higher parasitemia than females, and developed leukopenia and lower levels of anti-T. cruzi antibodies compared to female mice.
Conclusions: The identification of the T. cruzi strain in this endemic region of Mexico revealed that male mice are prone to this infectious protozoo, in addition to manifesting a deficient immune response against infection. These findings may explain the greater number of cases of Chagas disease among men in this endemic region of Latin America.
Copyright (c) 2021 Celeste Amaranta Palma-González, Héctor Israel Recinos-Vázquez, Julio César Burguete-Gutiérrez, José Antonio De Fuentes-Vicente, María Adelina Schlie-Guzmán, Dolores Guadalupe Vidal-López, Jesús Díaz-Gómez, Jorge Eugenio Vidal, Javier Gutiérrez-Jiménez
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