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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

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

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.56 no.1 Rio de Janeiro July. 1958 

Miocardite no macaco Cebus após inoculações repetidas com Schizotrypanum cruzi

C. Magarinos Torres1 

Brenildo M. Tavares1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Divisão de Patologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Transmission of Chagas disease is realized through contamination of ocular conjunctiva, mucosa or skin with infected dejections eliminated by the insect vectors of Schizotrypanum cruzi (Triatoma infestans, Panstrongylus megistus and Rhodnius prolixus). The triatomid bugs live in holes and craks in the walls, in beds, behind trunks, etc. Found in primitive mud huts covered with thatched roofs, and so the human dwellers have many chances to contract the disease, reinfections being reasonably more to expect than a single inoculation. Experimental work reproducing those natural conditions is welcomed as some important features in the pathologic picture of the disease such as the extensive myocardial fibrosis seen in chronic cases are still incompletely known. Microscopic changes were studied in the heart muscle of seven Cebus monkeys infected by S. cruzi. This animal survives the acute stage of the disease and so is particularly suited to experiments of long duration in which several inoculations of S. cruzi are performed. Three different strains of S. cruzi isolated from acute cases of Chagas' disease were employed. One monkey was injected in the skin with infected blood and necropsied after 252 days. Two monkeys were three times, and one, eight times infected in skin, one of them with contaminated blood, and two with contaminated blood and dejections from infected bugs. The necropsies were performed after 35, 95 and 149 days. One monkey was three times inoculated through the intact ocular conjunctiva (one time with infected blood, two times with dejections from infected bugs), and one time through the wounded buccal mucosa, and necropsied after 134 days. Another monkey was six times inoculated, four times through the intact ocular conjunctiva (one time with contaminated blood, three times with dejections from infected bugs) and two times injected in the skin with infected blood, and necropsied after 157 days. Finally, another monkey was nine times inoculated, four times through the intact ocular conjunctiva (one time with infected blood, and three times with dejections from infected bugs), and five times injected in the skin (four times with contaminated blood, and one time with dejections from infected bugs), and necropsied after 233 days. The microscopic picture was uniform presenting, however, considerable individual variations, and was represented by diffuse interstitial myocarditis, frequently more (marked in the right ventricle base of the heart), accompanied by lymphatic stasis. The infiltration consists of macrophages, plasma cells and lymphocytes, the cellular reaction having sometimes a perivascular distribution, involving the auriculo-ventricular system of conduction, endocardium, epicardium and cardiac sympathetic gangliae. The loss of cardiac muscle fibers was always minimal. Leishmanial forms of S. cruzi in myocardial fibers are scanty and, in two cases, absent. Fatty necrosis in the epicardium was noted in two cases. Obliterative changes of medium-sized branches of coronary arteries (hypersensitivity reaction?) and multiple infarcts of the myocardium was found in one instance. The diffuse myocarditis induced by S. cruzi in several species of monkeys of the genus Cebus observed after 233 days (several inoculations) and 252 days (single inoculation) is not associated with disseminated fibrosis such as is reported in chronic cases of Chagas' disease. Definite capacity of reversion is another characteristic of the interstitial myocarditis observed in the series of Cebus monkeys here studied. The impression was gained that repeated inoculation with S. cruzi may influence the myocardial changes differently according to the period between the reinoculations. A short period after the first inoculation is followed by more marked changes, while long periods are accompanied by slight changes, which suggests an active immunisation produced by the first inoculation. More data are required, however before a definite statement is made on this subject considering that individual variations, the natural capacity of reversion of the interstitial myocarditis and the employement of more than a species of Cebus monkeys probably exerts influence also in the results here reported.


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