Rats and Gerbils Can Be Used for Long-Term Models of Blastocystis Infection

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers working in the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Canada report that long-term Blastocystis infection can be modeled in both rats and gerbils.  The researchers report that, “Blastocystis ST1 established in 100% of the outbred rats (Rattus norvegicus) and gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) challenged. Rats were colonized asymptomatically for more than one year, but Blastocystis ST1 was not transmitted between rats. Mus musculus strain CD1 and Mastomys coucha were not susceptible to Blastocystis ST1. Thus, rats appear to be a suitable in vivo model for studies of Blastocystis ST1, as do gerbils though testing was less extensive.”  The paper was published in the journal Experimental Parasitology.

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