Volume s1-17, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Summary and Conclusions

An apparatus has been designed and a technique described which makes it possible to measure accurately changes of spleen volume in living monkeys. These changes were followed in a total of 21 monkeys. Fifteen of them were infected with , which uniformly produced an infection that terminated fatally, while the remaining six were infected with , a less virulent parasite causing an infection which ran an acute course and lapsed into a latent phase without the aid of therapy.

Data from the above described investigations reveal that in this species of monkey there is an immediate response of the spleen after inoculation, which may even precede the appearance of parasites in the peripheral blood.

The least degree of splenomegaly is associated with infections caused by the most pathogenic parasite, , when large numbers of these organisms are injected intravenously. A slightly larger spleen is found when the course of the disease is extended by decreasing the size of the dose, either in actual numbers or by intramuscular inoculation. In either instance, the spleen ceases to enlarge and frequently decreases in size near the fatal termination of the disease. Monkeys infected with the less virulent parasite, , show a beginning splenomegaly at the time parasites are visible in the peripheral blood; the rate of enlargement is approximately at the same pace as seen in the more virulent infections, but at the peak of the acute stage of the disease the spleen attains its maximum size, which is approximately four times its original volume. As long as the spleen was measurable, its size remained constant.

Superinfections with large numbers of the homologous organism produced a greatly accelerated rate of spleen enlargement as compared with primary attacks, and with equal rapidity the spleen returned to the size noted before superinfection.


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  • Received : 07 Dec 1936
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