Chronic helminth infection perturbs the gut-brain axis, promotes neuropathology, and alters behavior

Paul R. Giacomin*, Ann Katrin Kraeuter, Eduardo A. Albornoz, Shuting Jin, Mia Bengtsson, Richard Gordon, Trent M. Woodruff, Tim Urich, Zoltán Sarnyai, Ricardo J.Soares Magalhães

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Helminth infections in children are associated with impaired cognitive development; however, the biological mechanisms for this remain unclear. Using a murine model of gastrointestinal helminth infection, we demonstrate that early-life exposure to helminths promotes local and systemic inflammatory responses and transient changes in the gastrointestinal microbiome. Behavioral and cognitive analyses performed 9-months postinfection revealed deficits in spatial recognition memory and an anxiety-like behavioral phenotype in worm-infected mice, which was associated with neuropathology and increased microglial activation within the brain. This study demonstrates a previously unrecognized mechanism through which helminth infections may influence cognitive function, via perturbations in the gut-immune-brain axis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1516
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume218
Issue number9
Early online date15 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

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