Loa Loa: Experimental Infection in two Species of African Primates

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  • Tulane University, Delta Regional Primate Research Center, The Helminthiasis Research Unit, Institute de Recherches Médicales, Covington, Louisiana 70433, Federal Republic of Cameroon

Four species of primates, baboon (Papio anubis), patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) were inoculated with third-stage larvae of a human strain of Loa loa from Cameroon, West Africa. The baboon and patas monkeys developed patent infections after 135 to 148 days; the green monkeys and chimpanzee did not. In each animal which became patent, microfilaremia rose rapidly to high levels. In the baboon, but not in the patas monkeys, there was a suppression of microfilaremia during the 4th month of patency. After splenectomy, microfilariae reappeared in the peripheral blood in large numbers. In both baboon and patas monkeys, the microfilariae of Loa loa maintain the diurnal periodicity so characteristic of their behavior in man.