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Susceptibility of severe combined immuno-deficient (SCID) mice to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense

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Susceptibility of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice to 7 isolates of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and 2 isolates of T. b. rhodesiense was examined in terms of their infectivity, course of parasitaemia, packed cell volume (PCV) and survival period in comparison with that of normal immunocompetent (BALB/c) mice. All isolates of T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense caused high (> 1 x 108 parasites/ml) parasitaemia in the SCID mice, the survival periods ranged from 5 to 47 days. On the other hand, 5 of 7 isolates of T. b. gambiense developed chronic infection in the BALB/c mice with sporadic but persistent parasitaemia with less than 5 x 106 parasites/ml. All the mice tested in this group survived more than 60 days after infection. In contrast, the 2 remaining isolates of T. b. gambiense and both isolates of T. b. rhodesiense showed high virulence in the BALB/c mice and killed all of them within 30 days after infection. The results demonstrate that the SCID mice, in which functional B- and T-cell-mediated immunities are congenitally lacking, are highly susceptible for `low-virulence' T. b. gambiense. This makes SCID mice useful tools for the isolation of parasites from T. b. gambiense sleeping sickness patients and the propagation of large amounts of such parasites.
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Keywords: SCID mouse; T. b. gambiense; T. b. rhodesiense; susceptibility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Research Centre for Protozoan Molecular Immunology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro Hokkaido, Japan 2: Department of Veterinary Physiology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro Hokkaido, Japan 3: Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya 4: Kinshasa University Hospital, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Publication date: 1998-05-01

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