Cysticerci of Taenia crassiceps reproduce asexually by exogenous budding in the rodent intermediate host, and can experimentally develop to the adult stage within the small intestine of golden hamsters. In the present study, we report the loss of cysticercus infectivity for hamsters after maintaining the strain for 4 yr by consecutive peritoneal passage in mice. Larval infectivity was restored after a cysticercus from the WFU strain developed into a gravid tapeworm after being passaged through a dog. The eggs of this tapeworm were infective for mice, which subsequently developed cysticerci with renewed capability for infecting experimental hamsters. An in vitro evagination assay was also conducted using eleventh-generation WFU strain cysticerci, as well as second- and fourth-generation dog-derived cysticerci. Significantly higher (P < 0.0001) evagination was observed for 5-mo-old dog-derived and WFU infrapopulations when compared with respective evagination values for 9- and 12-mo-old infrapopulations. The extent of evagination was linked to the capacity of cysticerci to infect hamsters, so that greater evagination resulted in a higher infectivity for hamsters and vice versa.

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