Blood-sucking lice may disseminate Trypanosoma cruzi infection in baboons

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2001
Authors:E. R. Argañaraz, Hubbard, G. B., Ramos, L. A., Ford, A. L., Nitz, N., Leland, M. M., Vandeberg, J. L., Teixeira, A. R. L.
Journal:Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo
Pagination:271 - 276
Date Published:2001
Keywords:Baboons, Hamadryas, infections, lice, Papio, Pedicinus, Trypanosoma

Trypanosoma cruzi (Schyzotrypanum, Chagas, 1909), and Chagas disease are endemic in captive-reared baboons at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Texas. We obtained PCR amplification products from DNA extracted from sucking lice collected from the hair and skin of T. cruzi-infected baboons, with specific nested sets of primers for the protozoan kinetoplast DNA, and nuclear DNA. These products were hybridized to their complementary internal sequences. Selected sequences were cloned and sequencing established the presence of T. cruzi nuclear DNA, and minicircle kDNA. Competitive PCR with a kDNA set of primers determined the quantity of approximately 23.9 ± 18.2 T. cruzi per louse. This finding suggests that the louse may be a vector incidentally contributing to the dissemination of T. cruzi infection in the baboon colony.

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