Bovine Trypanosomiasis in Panama

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory of Tropical and Preventive Medicine, Panama, Republic of Panama

Summary and Conclusions

  1. 1.Trypanosoma vivax has been found for the first time in cattle of the Republic of Panama.
  2. 2.It is concluded that the parasite has been introduced into Panama during the past five years as a consequence of the importation of cattle from the countries to the South where infected animals are known to occur.
  3. 3.A series of animals were inoculated with the parasite but infections were successfully established only in calves, goats and horses. The ordinary small laboratory animal was not susceptible.
  4. 4.The trypanosome is well established in the local animals, as surveys of a number of herds revealed that from 5 per cent to over 50 per cent of their members were infected.
  5. 5.The symptoms exhibited by the infected animals are not characteristic. Fever, anemia, and emaciation are the most common manifestations, while in some weakness of the posterior extremities, edema and loss of appetite are sometimes present.
  6. 6.Diagnosis is best accomplished by thick blood smear methods and by gland puncture.