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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


RAMIREZ, Luiz Eduardo  and  BRENER, Zigman. Evaluation of the rabbit as a model for chagas' disease: I. Parasitological studies. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1987, vol.82, n.4, pp.531-536. ISSN 0074-0276.

In order to investigate the value of the rabbit as an experimental model for Chagas' disease, 72 animals have been inoculated by intraperitoneal and conjunctival route with bloodstream forms, vector-derived metacyclic trypomastigotes and tissue culture trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi strains Y, CL and Ernane. In 95.6% of the animals trypomastigotes had been detected at the early stages of infection by fresh blood examination. The course of parasitemia at the acute phase was strongly influenced by the parasite strain and route of inoculation. At the chronic phase parasites had been recovered by xenodiagnosis and/or hemoculture in 40% of the examined animals. The xenodiagnosis studies have shown selective interactions between the T. cruzi strains and the four species of vectors used, inducing significant variability in the results. The data herein present are consistent with the parasitological requirements established for a suitable model for chronic Chagas' disease.

Keywords : rabbits; T. cruzi infection; parasitological aspects; xenodiagnosis.

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