Eosinophils mediate protective immunity against secondary nematode infection

Lu Huang, Nebiat G. Gebreselassie, Lucille F. Gagliardo, Maura C. Ruyechan, Kierstin L. Luber, Nancy A. Lee, James J. Lee, Judith A. Appleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Eosinophils are versatile cells that regulate innate and adaptive immunity, influence metabolism and tissue repair, and contribute to allergic lung disease. Within the context of immunity to parasitic worm infections, eosinophils are prominent yet highly varied in function. We have shown previously that when mice undergo primary infection with the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis, eosinophils play an important immune regulatory role that promotes larval growth and survival in skeletal muscle. In this study, we aimed to address the function of eosinophils in secondary infection with T. spiralis. By infecting eosinophil-ablated mice, we found that eosinophils are dispensable for immunity that clears adult worms or controls fecundity in secondary infection. In contrast, eosinophil ablation had a pronounced effect on secondary infection of skeletal muscle by migratory newborn larvae. Restoring eosinophils to previously infected, ablated mice caused them to limit muscle larvae burdens. Passive immunization of naive, ablated mice with sera or Ig from infected donors, together with transfer of eosinophils, served to limit the number of newborn larvae that migrated in tissue and colonized skeletal muscle. Results from these in vivo studies are consistent with earlier findings that eosinophils bind to larvae in the presence of Abs in vitro. Although our previous findings showed that eosinophils protect the parasite in primary infection, these new data show that eosinophils protect the host in secondary infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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