Baylisascaris procyonis, raccoon roundworm, causes a severe retinal lesion in humans. The lesion is termed as diffuse unilateral subacute neuroretinitis (DUSN). To understand the pathogenesis of B. procyonis in gerbils, we inoculated 17 embryonated eggs/g body weight of B. procyonis into 15 male Mongolian gerbils, Merionis ungiculatus, and monitored their fundi with an ophthalmoscope. Six of 15 gerbils (40%) showed severe retinitis with a sinuous track due to larval movement. The lesions extended across nearly half of the affected fundi. Histopathological examination revealed perivasculitis in the optic disk region, inflammatory proliferation of the pigment cells, and vitreitis in most cases. These findings were similar to those in human cases of DUSN, suggesting that gerbils might be a useful model for understanding the pathogenesis of B. procyonis infection in humans.
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