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Chronic myocardial damage in experimental T. cruzi infection of a new world primate, Cebus sp. monkey

Lesões miocárdicas crônicas na infecção experimental pelo T. cruzi no macaco (Cebus apella)

Eighteen Cebus apella monkeys, (juvenile and adult of both sexes) were inoculated five years ago, with three Trypanosoma cruzi strains (CA1, n = 10; Colombian, n=4 and Tulahuen, n=4), either by conjunctival or intraperitoneal route, once or repeatedly. Parasitological, hematological, serological, enzymatic, radiographic, electro and echocardiographic findings have been peviously published15 and they are similar to those observed in human pathology. The most frequent electrocardiographic alteration was right branch bundle block. Six animals, chosen at random, were sacrificed. Those sacrificed 20 to 25 months post-first inoculation showed focal accumuli of leukocytes with myocytolysis. Foci of diffuse interstitial fibrosis with mild infiltrate of leukocytes among fibers were observed in the animals sacrificed 36 to 47 months post-inoculation. No parasites were seen. The lesions were more prominent in the ventricular walls and the septum. The fact that the infiltrates were predominant in the animals sacrificed at a shorter time after first inoculation and that fibrosis was more severe in those sacrificed at a longer time suggests that there is a progression of the infiltrative lesions to fibrosis, with a leukocytic activity indicative of a chronic phase. These lesions are similar to those described in human chronic Chagas' disease. This would demonstrate that this model is useful in evaluating a progress in the knowledge of the pathogenesis which is still a controversial issue, immunology, immunogenesis and chemotherapeutic agents of the chronic and indeterminate phases of this disease.

Cebus monkey; Chagas' disease; Pathology

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