Eosinophil responses in extraintestinal and intestinal tissues were examined in August and Sprague-Dawley rats infected with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis or Eimeria nieschulzi (or both), and in uninfected controls to test the hypothesis that E. nieschulzi suppresses the systemic N. brasiliensis-induced eosinophil response. Caudal vein blood, femoral bone marrow, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, peritoneal lavage fluid, and duodenal and jejunal samples were collected on day 8 postinfection (PI) with E. nieschulzi, on day 16 PI of the N. brasiliensis infection, when these days coincided in the concurrently infected rats, and from uninfected controls. Differential white blood cell counts were made from blood smears and cytocentrifuged preparations, and duodenal and jejunal eosinophils per villus crypt unit were quantified. Eimeria nieschulzi significantly reduced N. brasiliensis-induced eosinophil levels in peripheral blood, lavage fluids, and duodenal and jejunal tissues in both rat strains. August and Sprague-Dawley rats monospecifically infected with N. brasiliensis and concurrently with both parasites demonstrated elevated eosinopoiesis compared with uninfected controls and rats infected with only E. nieschulzi; however, despite this, concurrently infected rats had a significantly greater level of eosinopoiesis than those infected with only the nematode. In addition, E. nieschulzi induced elevated neutrophil levels in both monospecifically and concurrently infected rats in all extraintestinal tissues examined in both rat strains, whereas lymphocyte counts decreased concomitantly. This study suggests that the intestinal coccidian E. nieschulzi has the ability to modulate the systemic inflammatory response to N. brasiliensis and that this is not a rat strain-specific phenomenon.

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