Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20706595
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2010;4(8):e792
African trypanosomiasis is a severe parasitic disease that affects both humans and livestock. Several different species may cause animal trypanosomosis and although Trypanosoma vivax (sub-genus Duttonella) is currently responsible for the vast majority of debilitating cases causing great economic hardship in West Africa and South America, little is known about its biology and interaction with its hosts. Relatively speaking, T. vivax has been more than neglected despite an urgent need to develop efficient control strategies. Some pioneering rodent models were developed to circumvent the difficulties of working with livestock, but disappointedly were for the most part discontinued decades ago. To gain more insight into the biology of T. vivax, its interactions with the host and consequently its pathogenesis, we have developed a number of reproducible murine models using a parasite isolate that is infectious for rodents. Firstly, we analyzed the parasitical characteristics of the infection using inbred and outbred mouse strains to compare the impact of host genetic background on the infection and on survival rates. Hematological studies showed that the infection gave rise to severe anemia, and histopathological investigations in various organs showed multifocal inflammatory infiltrates associated with extramedullary hematopoiesis in the liver, and cerebral edema. The models developed are consistent with field observations and pave the way for subsequent in-depth studies into the pathogenesis of T. vivax – trypanosomosis.