Taenia crassiceps cysticerci form large infrapopulations that persist in the tissues of their rodent hosts. Early infrapopulation growth appears inhibited and is followed by rapid increases that appear not to be controlled by the host immune response. This investigation was undertaken to examine the infrapopulation growth dynamics of a normally developing strain (WFU) of T. crassiceps during a 60-day primary intraperitoneal (i.p.) infection. Three, 6, 9, 14, 28, and 60 days after i.p. inoculation of 5 cysticerci, mice were killed, and the numbers of larvae, developmental stage, and buds per larva were recorded. Larval infrapopulation abundance increased exponentially beginning on day 6 postinoculation (PI), indicating an initial lag in reproduction. A stage-structured exponential growth model, assuming no mortality, fits the larval infrapopulation dynamics in terms of the numbers of larvae in reproductive and nonreproductive stages, indicating that cysticerci evade or suppress (or both) host immune mechanisms that are parasite restrictive after the first week of infection.

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