Comparison of Plasmodium Falciparum Infections in Panamanian and Colombian Owl Monkeys

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  • 1 Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, P.O. Box 935, APO Miami 34002
  • * Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307-5100

Parameters of blood-induced infections of the Vietnam Oak Knoll, Vietnam Smith, and Uganda Palo Alto strains of Plasmodium falciparum studied in 395 Panamanian owl monkeys in this laboratory between 1976–1984 were compared with those reported from another laboratory for 665 Colombian owl monkeys, studied between 1968–1975, and, at the time, designated Aotus trivirgatus griseimembra. The virulence of these strains was less in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, as indicated by lower mortality rates of the Panamanian monkeys during the first 30 days of patency. Maximum parasitemias of the Vietnam Smith and Uganda Palo Alto strain, in Panamanian owl monkeys dying during the first 15 days of patent infection, were significantly higher than in Colombian owl monkeys. Panamanian owl monkeys that survived the primary attack had significantly higher maximum parasitemias than the surviving Colombian owl monkeys. Peak parasitemias were attained significantly earlier after patency in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys, irrespective of the strain of P. falciparum. More Panamanian than Colombian owl monkeys evidenced self-limited infection after the primary attack of either the Vietnam Smith or Uganda Palo Alto strain. The duration of the primary attacks and recrudescences were significantly shorter in Panamanian than in Colombian owl monkeys. Mean peak parasitemias during recrudescence were usually higher in Panamanian owl monkeys than in Colombian monkeys. Differences of infection parameters were probably attributable, in part, to geographical origin of the two monkey hosts and parasite strains.