Domestic Pig (Sus scrofa) as an Animal Model for Experimental Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

Verónica Yauri Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Manuela Verastegui Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Noelia Angulo Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Fernando Recuenco Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Ines Cabello Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Edith Malaga Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Caryn Bern Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Cesar M. Gavidia Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Robert H. Gilman Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Pigs were infected with a Bolivian strain of Trypanosoma cruzi (genotype I) and evaluated up to 150 days postinoculation (dpi) to determine the use of pigs as an animal model of Chagas disease. Parasitemia was observed in the infected pigs during the acute phase (15–40 dpi). Anti-T. cruzi immunoglobulin M was detected during 15–75 dpi; high levels of anti-T. cruzi immunoglobulin G were detected in all infected pigs from 75 to 150 dpi. Parasitic DNA was observed by western blot (58%, 28/48) and polymerase chain reaction (27%, 13/48) in urine samples, and in the brain (75%, 3/4), spleen (50%, 2/4), and duodenum (25%, 1/4), but no parasitic DNA was found in the heart, colon, and kidney. Parasites were not observed microscopically in tissues samples, but mild inflammation, vasculitis, and congestion was observed in heart, brain, kidney, and spleen. This pig model was useful for the standardization of the urine test because of the higher volume that can be obtained as compared with other small animal models. However, further experiments are required to observe pathological changes characteristic of Chagas disease in humans.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Cesar M. Gavidia, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Av. Circunvalacion cuadra 28 s/n, San Borja, Lima 41, Peru. E-mail: cgavidiac@unmsm.edu.pe

Financial support: This project was funded by Fogarty International Center (5 R24 TW007988, D43 TW006581) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01 AI087776) at the National Institutes of Health. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Disclosure: The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Animal Welfare of the Veterinary School, San Marcos University, Lima, Peru.

Authors' addresses: VerónicaYauri, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, E-mail: vyauri@gmail.com. Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen, Manuela Verastegui, and Noelia Angulo, Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mails: yagahiraelizabeth@hotmail.com, manuela.verastegui@upch.pe, and shaki2700@yahoo.es. Fernando Recuenco and Ines Cabello, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, E-mails: fer_recuenco@hotmail.com and itacab18@hotmail.com. Edith Málaga, Laboratorio de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: edith.malaga@gmail.com. Caryn Bern, Global Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; E-mail: Caryn.Bern2@ucsf.edu. Cesar M. Gavidia, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, E-mail: cmgavidia@yahoo.com. Robert H. Gilman, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: gilmanbob@gmail.com.

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