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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Aug;69(2):188-94.

Experimental infection of the olive baboon (Paplio anubis) with Plasmodium knowlesi: severe disease accompanied by cerebral involvement.

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Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya.


Experimental systems that model some of the complex interactions between parasite and host can be extremely valuable in identifying and developing new prophylactics and therapeutics against human diseases. Because primates have similar immune systems to humans, we have characterized a baboon model for understanding host response to Plasmodium knowlesi. Ten intact olive baboons (Papio anubis) of either sex were experimentally infected with P. knowlesi H strain erythrocytic parasites. The infection in these baboons was either acute or chronic. Animals with acute infection developed multiple system organ dysfunction and cerebral involvement. In chronically infected animals, only the spleen was moderately enlarged. The P. knowlesi parasitemia profile in baboons and rhesus monkeys was comparable. However, some clinical symptoms of the baboons and P. falciparum-infected humans were similar. These studies demonstrate for the first time that P. anubis is a suitable host for P. knowlesi for studying clinical symptoms and pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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