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Pathogenicity of bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid forms of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in Swiss White Mice

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Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (T.b.r.), the causative agent of the East African form of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier and invade the central nervous system (CNS). However, it is not clear whether bloodstream forms (BSF) of T.b.rhodesiense differ in biological characteristics from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) forms. The present study was carried out to compare the pathogenicity of CSF and BSF of T.b. rhodesiense parasites in Swiss white mice following intraperitoneal inoculation with 106 trypanosomes. The parasites were tested for presence of the serum resistance associated (SRA) gene. Parasitaemia, body weight, packed cell volume (PCV) and survival of the mice was monitored daily until the experiment was terminated. Data was analyzed using general linear model. Both forms of parasite were positive for the SRA gene, and there was no significant difference in progression of parasitaemia, PCV values or survival of the mice. However, the weights of BSF infected mice initially dropped faster than those of CSF infected mice (P<0.001). African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 15 (1&2) 2008: pp. 34-41


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