Hamster inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 x 10(7) parasites of L. donovani and L. major-like of the New World were studied in groups of 15, 30, 60 and 90 days of infection. The parasite load and density showed progressive increase with the evolution of the infection and was higher in the L. donovani groups than in the L. major-like groups. The L. major-like groups showed parasite density higher in the spleen than in the liver and was similar in both organs in L. donovani groups. The histopathology showed a diffuse marked hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the reticuloendothelial system with high parasitism in the L. donovani groups while there was focal involvement of these organs in L. major-like groups, forming nodules of macrophages that were scantly parasitised. The biological behaviour could be useful in the preliminary studies of Leishmania strain in regional laboratories and understanding the histopathology of lesions caused by different leishmania species.
Leishmania; L. donovani; L. major-like; Experimental infection