The main purpose of this study was to determine the effects of cortisone on the number and size of primary Echinococcus multilocularis cysts developing in a moderately resistant strain of mice, i.e., C3H/HeJ. Computerized image analysis was used to measure the surface area occupied by hydatid cysts 10 wk after inoculation of the mice with E. multilocularis eggs. Our second objective was to compare the infectivity of primary E. multilocularis hydatid cysts in C57BL/6J-Ay/a (lethal yellow) mice with that in C57BL/6J-a/a (non-agouti black) mice. The data obtained show no difference between the C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6J-a/a strains of mice; yet, the image analysis method was able to detect a slight increase in the total cyst size within the Ay/a mutant of the C57BL/6J strain. Treatment of C3H/HeJ mice with cortisone drastically increased both the number of cysts and the average size of each cyst when the treatment occurred early in the infection.

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