Pathologic Changes Associated with Fatal Plasmodium falciparum Infection in the Bolivian Squirrel Monkey

(Saimiri sciureus boliviensis)

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  • Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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Fatal cases of experimental Plasmodium falciparum (Indochina I) in Bolivian squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus boliviensis) were examined by histologic and ultrastructural methods. Gross lesions were characterized by hepatosplenomegaly and interstitial pulmonary changes. Histologically, there was marked diffuse reticuloendothelial hyperplasia, pulmonary alveolar septal thickening, mesangioproliferative glomerulonephropathy, sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes in deep vascular beds, degenerative parenchymal changes in the liver and myocardium, and in one case retinal and cerebral hemorrhage. These data indicate that the Bolivian squirrel monkey is a good model for studying pathologic changes associated with human falciparum malaria.