Eosinophil and/or neutrophil leukocytes appear to have important roles in host defense against invasive, migratory helminth infestations, but the mechanisms of larval killing by leukocytes are uncertain. This study examines killing of newborn (migratory phase) larvae of Trichinella spiralis during incubation with granule preparations of human eosinophils or neutrophils and generators of hydrogen peroxide (glucose-glucose oxidase) (G-GO) or superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (xanthine-xanthine oxidase). Larvae were killed by either hydrogen peroxide-generating system in a concentration-dependent manner. Direct enumeration of surviving larvae after incubation in microtiter wells containing the appropriate reagents was used in assess larval killing. Verification of the microplate assay was demonstrated by complete loss of larval ability to incorporate [3H]deoxyglucose and loss of infectivity after incubation in comparable concentrations of G-GO. Larvae were highly sensitive to oxidative products; significant killing occurred after incubation with 0.12 mU glucose oxidase and complete killing occurred with 0.5 mU. Comparable killing of bacteria required over 60 mU glucose oxidase. At 5 mU glucose oxidase, killing was complete after 6 h of incubation. Killing by G-GO was inhibited by catalase but not by boiled catalase or superoxide dismutase and was enhanced by azide. Addition of peroxidase in granule pellet preparations of eosinophils or neutrophils did not enhance killing by G-GO. These data indicate a remarkable susceptibility of newborn larvae of T. spiralis to the hydrogen peroxide generated by neutrophil and eosinophil leukocytes.
David A. Bass, Pamela Szejda