Further Studies on the Transmission of Trypanosoma Hippicum Darling by the Vampire Bat Desmodus Rotundus Murinus Wagner

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panamá, R. of P.

The disease murrina, an infection of horses due to Trypanosoma hippicum, was first recognized in Panama by Darling (1) in 1909. In 1911 (2) he explained the mode of transmission as follows: “The disease is probably transmitted mechanically by flies through the broken skin of cuts and various wounds, and there are no evidences that any animals were infected by means of stomoxys or tabanids or by ticks or bats.” No further progress was made in the elucidation of the mode of transmission of this disease until Dunn (3) published his work incriminating the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus murinus Wagner, as the probable vector. His results showed that by allowing clean bats to feed on infected animals, they acquired the infection, and in subsequent feeding passed it on to clean animals. He states: “I believe this to be the first time that a biological transfer of murrina has been accomplished, and a true vector identified.”