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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versão impressa ISSN 0074-0276versão On-line ISSN 1678-8060


CARREIRA, João Carlos Araujo; JANSEN, Ana Maria; DEANE, Maria P  e  LENZI, Henrique Leonel. Histopathological study of experimental and natural infections by Trypanosoma cruzi in Didelphis marsupialis. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1996, vol.91, n.5, pp.609-618. ISSN 1678-8060.

Didelphis marsupialis, the most important sylvatic reservoir of Trypanosoma cruzi, can also maintain in their anal scent glands the multiplicative forms only described in the intestinal tract of triatomine bugs. A study of 21 experimentally and 10 naturally infected opossums with T. cruzi was undertaken in order to establish the histopathological pattern under different conditions. Our results showed that the inflammation was predominantly lymphomacrophagic and more severe in the naturally infected animals but never as intense as those described in Chagas' disease or in other animal models. The parasitism in both groups was always mild with very scarce amastigote nests in the tissues. In the experimentally infected animals, the inflammation was directly related to the presence of amastigotes nests. Four 24 days-old animals, still in embryonic stage, showed multiple amastigotes nests and moderate inflammatory reactions, but even so they survived longer and presented less severe lesions than experimentally infected adult mice. Parasites were found in smooth, cardiac and/or predominantly striated muscles, as well as in nerve cells. Differing from the experimentally infected opossums parasitism in the naturally infected animals predominated in the heart, esophagus and stomach. Parasitism of the scent glands did not affect the histopathological pattern observed in extraglandular tissues.

Palavras-chave : Trypanosoma cruzi; Didelphis marsupialis; opossum; histopathology.

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