Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The results of a survey of 223 Peruvian and Colombian monkeys and marmosets for trypanosomes are presented. Eight or -like infections and 42 infections with trypanosomes identified as were detected in 47 (21%) of the animals. There were three double infections. Trypanosomes were found in 11 of 14 species, representing eight of nine surveyed primate genera.

Strains of were identified in Peruvian squirrel monkeys () and marmosets (). Infections in other Peruvian and Colombian squirrel monkeys () were presumed to be due to . The strain of grew well in culture, developed normally in posterior station in reduviid bugs () and was highly virulent for suckling and immature mice. Previous records for and/or -like trypanosomes in Neotropical lower primates are discussed. is more likely an aberrant strain of than a distinct species. A presumed arboreal cycle involving primates and unknown arboreal intermediate hosts is discussed.

, a -like trypanosome, is apparently common in Neotropical arboreal primates. strains of grew well in culture, but and strains failed to infect adults and nymphs of and . A strain was non-pathogenic for suckling mice and did not produce tissue forms. The synonymy of the -like trypanosomes is considered, and mechanisms of transmission of trypanosomes between arboreal primates are discussed, with particular reference to . Both transmission by ingestion of infected insects and transmission by biting (or biting-plus-defecation) probably take place.

Primates infected with are known to be imported into the United States from the New World tropics. It is unlikely that these trypanosome strains will find their way into native invertebrates and vertebrates, including man, in this country. On the other hand the laboratory investigator should be aware, both from the point of view of his own health and that of his animals, that may occur in these animals.


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