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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.75 n.2 Pretoria  2008




Experimental infections of baboons (Papio spp.) and vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) with Trichinella zimbabwensis and successful treatment with ivermectin



S. MukaratirwaI; B.M. DzomaI; E. MatengaI; S.D. RuziwaI; L. SacchiII; E. PozioIII

IDepartment of Paraclinical Veterinary Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167 Mount Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe
IIDepartment of Animal Biology, University of Pavia, Piazza Botta 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy
IIIDepartment of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 0061 Rome, Italy




Experimental Trichinella zimbabwensis infections were established in three baboons (Papio sp.) and four vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) and the clinical-pathological manifestations assessed. The infected animals showed clinical signs ranging from fever, diarrhoea, periorbital oedema and muscular pain in varying degrees. One baboon became blind due to the infection. Levels of creatinine phosphokinase and lactate dehydrogenase increased to reach a peak on Day 42 post-infection (pi) for both baboons and monkeys. Blood parameters such as packed cell volume, levels of red blood cells and white blood cells did not change significantly from the normal ranges except for the levels of eosinophils which peaked above the normal ranges at Day 28 and 56 pi in baboons and at Day 56 pi in monkeys.
Two baboons and two monkeys died during the course of the experiment. They were emaciated and showed lesions such as ascites, hydropericardium, congested liver and enlarged gall bladder. Histopathological findings of various muscles included a basophilic transformation of muscle cells, the disappearance of sarcomere myofibrils and basophilic sarcoplasm with the presence of Trichinella larvae in the sarcoplasm. These changes were mainly in the massetter and were of various intensities in the tail, gastrocnemius and biceps muscles. Five consecutive treatments with an oxfendazole-levamisole combination on surviving animals failed to clear the infection whereas ivermectin cleared the infection after one treatment in two monkeys and after two treatments in a baboon.

Keywords: Baboons, Cercopithecus aethiops, ivermectin, levamisole, monkeys, oxfendazole, Papio spp., pathology, Trichinella zimbabwensis



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Accepted for publication 21 April 2008-Editor



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