STUDIES ON TRYPANOSOMA GAMBIENSE INFECTION IN VARIOUS SPECIES OF EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS,
TEXAS UNIV GALVESTON MEDICAL BRANCH
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Experimental Trypanosoma gambiense infection in 19 species and subspecies of rodents was investigated with special reference to the susceptibility or resistance of each species of rodent to a virulent strain of T. gambiense. Eight species and subspecies of rodents contracted acute trypanosomiasis and died within a week. In seven species and subspecies of rodents, T. gambiense infection ran a subacute to chronic course. The control animals, Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus, contracted acute infection and died by trypanosomiasis within a week. Laboratory stock of T. gambiense BW-NIH-UT strain, after being maintained over nine years in P. m. gambeli by syringe passage, has not lost its original virulence and pathogenicity to susceptible test animals. P. m. gambeli albino, colored and hairless is recommended for maintaining laboratory stock of T. gambiense as a timesaving and safe procedure. The possibility of certain species of American rodents becoming reservoir hosts for pathogenic African trypanosomes and the danger of introducing ruminants infected with trypanosomiasis from Africa to America, Asia and Europe where mechanical transmission of the disease from them to indigenous mammals by blood-sucking insects, vampire bat, etc., may take place is discussed.