Influence of pregnancy and lactation on the parasitological and some clinico-pathological responses of out-bred albino mice to single doses of Heligmosomoides bakeri (H.b) were studied. Fifty six pregnant and ten non-pregnant mice were used for the study. The pregnant mice were either infected in the first, second or third trimester depending on the experimental group and were either allowed to suckle or not following parturition. The ten non-pregnant mice served as uninfected controls. Faecal egg counts (FEC), bodyweights (BW), packed cell volume (PCV) and worm burdens (WB) were recorded. Both lactating and non-lactating mice infected in the first trimester had significantly higher WBs (F2,49 = 5.242, P = 0.001) and FECs (F2,37 = 4.314, P = 0.001 ) in comparison to their counterparts infected in the second and third trimesters. Generally, the WB of lactating mice was only marginally higher than those of non-lactating mice in the first and third trimesters. The FECs of non-lactating mice were generally higher than those of lactating mice. The PCV of lactating mice was lower than those of both non-lactating and uninfected control mice. The body weights of both lactating and non-lactating mice (infected) were lower compared to those of the uninfected control mice. No periparturient rise in FEC was observed nor did lactation influence FEC.
Key words: Pregnancy, lactation, Heligmosomoides bakeri, outbred albino mice, parasitological and clinico-pathological responses.
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