A Method for Counting the Microfilariae of Litomosoides Carinii of the Cotton Rat

H. W. Brown DeLamar Institute of Public Health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

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R. W. Williams DeLamar Institute of Public Health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

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Recent studies indicate that the filariid Litomosoides carinii of the cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, is a useful parasite for the study of new chemotherapeutic agents. To ascertain the effects of experimental therapy the reduction in microfilariae in the blood may be followed and later the effect on the adult worms in the pleural cavity observed at autopsy. A method for counting the microfilariae should be accurate, rapid and, if possible, permit a permanent record for review if necessary. After trying various methods the following technic was found to be highly satisfactory.

  1. 1. Mark off a square 0.9 of a centimeter on a side with a diamond pencil upon a glass slide.
  2. 2. Draw blood from tail of cotton rat to the 0.5 mark on red blood cell hemocytometer pipette.
  3. 3. Blow out blood onto marked square and spread evenly with fine wire used to clean syringe needles and allow to dry.

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