Rats given an initial infection with Angiostrongylus cantonensis had moderately elevated phospholipase B activity in the lungs at 8 and 15 days after challenge, and greatly elevated levels were evident at 35, 43, and 49 days. In the brain, the values were elevated at 15 through 35 days. These periods of increased activity in the lungs and brain coincided with the migration patterns of the third stage larvae and the adult worms in this host. The elevated enzyme levels also were were correlated with increased numbers of eosinophils in the bone marrow at 8 and 15 days and again at 36, 43, and 49 days after infection. Similarly infected rats exhibited leukocytosis at 1 through 10 weeks of observation after challenge, and striking eosinophilia at 1, 7, 8, and 9 weeks. Rats reinfected after removal of the worms of the initial infection by thiabendazole treatment showed an anamnestic response characterized by (i) elevated enzyme values in both the lungs and brain at 1 day after reinfection and (ii) eosinophilia in the bone marrow by day 4. These accelerated responses were accompanied by a significant reduction in the worm burden of the rats. The results, which support our hypothesis that inflammation, elevated phospholipase B activity, and reduction in worm burden are causally related, are discussed in light of similar findings reported earlier from our studies with Trichinella spiralis and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.
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