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Visceral Leishmaniasis in the Golden Hamster as a Model for Human Kala-azar.

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Annual progress rept. Oct 81-Oct 82,

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A major effort was made during the last year to acquire and establish experimental infections using a variety of Leishmania isolates. While some of these recent parasite acquisitions proved non-infective for hamsters, we have succeeded in establishing animal infections with two isolates of L. infantum Greece and France, two isolates of L. chagasi Brazil, one new isolate of L. donovani Kenya, one isolate of unknown identity from natural infections of dogs in Oklahoma, one isolate from Honduras presumably L. chagasi and two strains of cutaneous origin from South America L. mexicana mexicana and L. mexicana amazonensis. These acquisitions complement those strains previously established in our laboratory. The most interesting of these strains proved to be an isolate from a human case of visceral leishmaniasis in Honduras Santos Herrera WR116. When cultured promastigotes of this parasite were inoculated intracardially IC into hamsters, infected animals developed heavily parasitized, non-ulcerating cutaneous lesions on the nose, footpads and gentials. Only low numbers of visceral parasites were detected by impression smears of the spleen and bone marrow. Subsequent parasite inoculations into hamsters, using either amastigotes isolated from dermal lesions in hamsters or cultured promastigotes grown from splenic isolates, produced similar cutaneous infections. Since Santos Herrera exhibited such strong dermatropic tendencies, it was next inoculated intradermally ID into BALBc mice.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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