Jirds (Meriones unguiculatus) were vaccinated with irradiated L3 third-stage larvae (L3) of Acanthocheilonema viteae, and the time required for killing of the challenge L3 was determined. The number of parasites recovered from vaccinated jirds was reduced to about 10% of the control values on the second day after challenge infection and later on. Histological studies revealed an eosinophil-rich infiltrate containing macrophages, neutrophils, and mast cells in the vicinity of the L3 on day 2 after challenge and destruction of the worms by day 4 after challenge. Ultrastructural studies confirmed these data and showed that eosinophils, macrophages, and mast cells were close to the L3 on day 2 after challenge. Flattening of the eosinophils onto the surface of the worms, degranulation of electron-dense material, and rupture of the L3 surface was observed on day 4 after challenge, followed by invasion of the inner of the worms by phagocytic cells. These data show that immune attack against the challenge L3 in vaccinated jirds is initiated between the first and the second day after challenge and that killing occurs around the fourth day after challenge, before the worms undergo their first molt.
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