Interspecies variation in the susceptibility of a wild-derived colony of mice to pinworms (Aspiculuris tetraptera)

Ryan C. Curtis, Jill K. Murray, Polly Campbell, Yoko Nagamori, Adam Molnar, Todd A. Jackson

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4 Scopus citations


Pinworms are common parasites in wild and laboratory rodents. Despite their relative nonpathogenicity in immunocompetent models, pinworm infections add an unwanted variable and may confound some types of research. For this reason health monitoring programs and biosecurity measures aim to minimize the spread of pinworm infections into colonies free from the organisms. Wild-derived and laboratory strains of mice have shown varied susceptibility to infection with Aspiculuris tetraptera, the most commonly found murine pinworm. In particular, susceptibility is increased in wild-derived mice, young animals and males. Routine surveillance at our institution revealed pinworm infection (A. tetraptera only) within a colony of multiple, wild-derived species of Mus, although only specific species showed positive results during initial sampling. To assess whether species-associated differences in susceptibility were present, we analyzed fecal egg counts of A. tetraptera in every cage of the colony. Our results revealed significant differences in susceptibility between various species and subspecies of Mus. Egg counts were significantly higher in Mus spicilegus than Mus m. domesticus (WSB/EiJ) and Mus macedonicus. Mus spretus had higher egg counts than M. m. domesticus (WSB/EiJ), M. m. musculus (PWK/PhJ), and M. macedonicus. Egg counts did not differ in regard to age, sex or number of mice per cage. As wild-derived mouse models continue to compliment research largely based on laboratory strains, it will be important to understand host-parasite interactions and their effects on research, particularly studies evaluating immune responses, behavior, growth, and other physiologic parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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