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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 91, No. 5, 1996, pp. 609-618
Bioline Code: oc96110
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 91, No. 5, 1996, pp. 609-618

 en Histopathological Study of Experimental and Natural Infections by Trypanosoma cruzi in Didelphis marsupialis
Jo o Carlos Araujo Carreira; Ana Maria Jansen; Maria P Deane & Henrique Leonel Lenzi


Didelphis marsupialis, the most important sylvatic
reservoir of Trypanosoma cruzi, can also maintain in
their anal scent glands the multiplicative forms only
described in the intestinal tract of triatomine bugs. A study
of 21 experimentally and 10 naturally infected opossums with
T. cruzi was undertaken in order to establish the
histopathological pattern under different conditions.
Our results showed that the inflammation was predominantly
lymphomacrophagic and  more severe in the naturally infected
animals but never as intense as those described in  Chagas'
disease or in  other animal models.

The parasitism in both groups was always mild with very scarce amastigote nests in the tissues. In the experimentally infected animals, the inflammation was directly related to the presence of amastigotes nests.

Four 24 days-old animals, still in embryonic stage, showed multiple amastigotes nests and moderate inflammatory reactions, but even so they survived longer and presented less severe lesions than experimentally infected adult mice.

Parasites were found in smooth, cardiac and/or predominantly striated muscles, as well as in nerve cells. Differing from the experimentally infected opossums parasitism in the naturally infected animals predominated in the heart, esophagus and stomach. Parasitism of the scent glands did not affect the histopathological pattern observed in extraglandular tissues.

Trypanosoma cruzi - Didelphis marsupialis - opossum - histopathology

© Copyright 1996 Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz
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