Attempts to Image the Early Inflammatory Response during Infection with the Lymphatic Filarial Nematode Brugia pahangi in a Mouse Model

Elmarie Myburgh, Ryan Ritchie, Amy Goundry, Kerry O'Neill, Francesco Marchesi, Eileen Devaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Helminth parasites remain a major constraint upon human health and well-being in many parts of the world. Treatment of these infections relies upon a very small number of therapeutics, most of which were originally developed for use in animal health. A lack of high throughput screening systems, together with limitations of available animal models, has restricted the development of novel chemotherapeutics. This is particularly so for filarial nematodes, which are long-lived parasites with a complex cycle of development. In this paper, we describe attempts to visualise the immune response elicited by filarial parasites in infected mice using a non-invasive bioluminescence imaging reagent, luminol, our aim being to determine whether such a model could be developed to discriminate between live and dead worms for in vivo compound screening. We show that while imaging can detect the immune response elicited by early stages of infection with L3, it was unable to detect the presence of adult worms or, indeed, later stages of infection with L3, despite the presence of worms within the lymphatic system of infected animals. In the future, more specific reagents that detect secreted products of adult worms may be required for developing screens based upon live imaging of infected animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0168602
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Myburgh et al.


  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Brugia pahangi
  • Cytokines
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial
  • Luminescent Agents
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Luminol
  • Lymphatic System
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Journal Article

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