Trypanosoma cruzi infection in offspring born to chagasic C3H/He mice.
This study reports the effects of Trypanosoma cruzi infection induced in C3H/He male and female mice born to chagasic mice. An experimental model was established infecting female C3H/He mice with a low virulent T. cruzi clone. In this model, mating, fertilization, pregnancy evolution and delivery was carried out successfully. The offspring was infected at four, six and eighth weeks of age. The results showed that the offspring born to chagasic mothers present decreased resistance to acquired T. cruzi infection. This decreased resistance was expressed by higher levels of parasitaemia and higher mortality rates in offspring born to chagasic mothers than in controls. Age and sex were shown to be important factors of this phenomenon. The results suggest that maternal immune system products can modulate the immune response of the offspring.