Reservoir Hosts of Chagas' Disease in the State of Texas

Natural Infection of Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus texanus), House Mice (Mus musculus), Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and Wood Rats (Neotoma micropus micropus), with Trypanosoma cruzi in the State of Texas

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  • Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, The School of Medicine, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas

Summary

  1. 1.A number of small mammals were collected in the State of Texas. Of these, one nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), eight opossums (Didelphys virginiana), two house mice (Mus musculus), and 32 wood rats (Neotoma micropus micropus), were found to be naturally infected with T. cruzi.
  2. 2.Cultural tests proved once more to be very fruitful, oftentimes a positive culture being obtained when no trypanosomes were demonstrable by direct microscopic examination of the blood.
  3. 3.Xenodiagnosis, while not recommended by the writer in human diagnosis, was found to be of value in detecting and determining natural T. cruzi infection in animals.
  4. 4.Some of the wood rats were found to have double or triple infection with T. cruzi, T. neotoma, sarcosporidia, and microfilaria.
  5. 5.A few strains of T. cruzi isolated from each species of animals have been maintained in vitro from one to two years. The morphology of trypanosomes in vitro and in vivo (in vertebrate and invertebrate hosts) and the histopathological changes which they produced in experimental animals are indistinguishable from classical strains of T. cruzi isolated from human sources.

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