Experimental Transmission of Wuchereria Bancrofti to Monkeys

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  • U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, Department of Parasitology and General Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Infective larvae of Wuchereria bancrofti from laboratory-raised Culex pipiens fatigans and Aedes togoi mosquitoes fed on human volunteers in Jakarta, Indonesia (J strain) and Kinmen Island, China (K strain) were introduced into Taiwan monkeys (Macaca cyclopis) by subcutaneous inoculation, by foot puncture, or by permitting infected mosquitoes to feed weekly on the monkeys. Some animals were splenectomized and others were treated with varying regimens of immunosuppressants. Necropsy was done on monkeys that died or were killed and the entire bodies were examined for worms. A total of 78 monkeys (43 males and 35 females) were exposed to infection and parasites were found in 29% of the females and 63% of males. In infections of 38 days or less worms were recovered from the testes of males and the pelt, carcass and lymph nodes of both sexes, but after 42 days of infection most worms were in the testes of males, and a few were recovered from lymph nodes and carcasses of females. Worms recovered at 8–11 days were third-stage, those found between 14 and 38 days fourth-stage, and ones found between 42 and 103 days were young adults. After 148 days most were adults and microfilariae were seen in the uteri of female worms at 160 days and later. The parasites continued to grow in size with time. Microfilariae were detected in the blood of nine monkeys between 8 and 18 months and the patent period varied from 5–21 months. Microfilarial densities were low and erratic, and periodicity could not be determined. The effectiveness of methods of administering infections and the value of various treatment regimens seem uncertain; monkey antilymphocytic sera, however, appeared to have some influence. Parasites were found in 36% of the Taiwan monkeys given the J strain and 54% of those given the K strain. A limited number of M. mulatta (3), M. irus (fascicularis) (3) and Aotus trivirgatus (4) were also given infective larvae and adult W. bancrofti were recovered from the testes of one male M. mulatta and one male M. irus; uterine microfilariae were found in one female worm from the latter monkey. A. trivirgatus were negative. Low numbers of infective larvae recovered from mosquitoes fed on patent monkeys were introduced inter-mittently into seven clean monkeys and one became microfilaremic between 11 and 17 months postinoculation.