A newly developed system in which the entire filarial life cycle can be completed in the laboratory model context (Hoffmann et al 2000 Parasitol Today 16:387-389). L. sigmodontis is a natural parasite of cotton rats in which adults inhabit the pleural cavity; however this filaria can successfully infect laboratory mouse strains. This species has allowed, for the first time, the components of protective immunity against tissue-dwelling filariae to be defined, and we have used it to demonstrate that interference with regulatory T cells in vivo curtails survival of the parasites. L. sigmodontis was previously named L. carinii.
Useful links to the immunology of L.sigmodontis : Matt Taylor lab website.