The Effect of Hydrocortisone on Skin Lesions, Antibody Titers, and Parasitemia in Trypansoma Gambiense-Infected Rabbits

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  • Department of Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

Rabbits infected with Trypanosoma gambiense develop large, spreading skin lesions. After intradermal injection of live trypanosomes there is considerable inflammation, characterized by swelling, hardness, and redness at the site of injection. Infected rabbits were treated daily with hydrocortisone and examined for skin lesions, agglutinating antibody titers, and parasitemia levels. This treatment eliminated the skin lesions, did not appreciably alter agglutinating antibody titers, and raised parasitemia levels. Treated animals also showed large weight loss and shortened survival time. Caution must therefore be used in treating human cases of African trypanosomiasis with hydrocortisone.

Author Notes

Present address: Department of Microbiology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee 37208.

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