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Trends Parasitol. 2008 Sep;24(9):411-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Aug 4.

Contributions of experimental mouse models to the understanding of African trypanosomiasis.

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Department of Animal Pathology, Veterinary College, University of Liege, 20 Boulevard de Colonster, B43, 4000 Liege, Belgium.


African trypanosomiasis is the collective name for a wide variety of trypanosome infections that affect humans and livestock. In recent years, experimental mice infection models have provided new insights into both human and animal trypanosomiasis. Mouse models seem to be a valuable and versatile tool in trypanosomiasis-associated pathology and immunology research and highlight the variety shown by African trypanosomiases. Indeed, inbred mouse strains have enabled the study of genetic determinants of susceptibility and of the roles of anti-parasite antibodies, inflammatory mediators and anti-inflammatory mediators for each trypanosome species. Remarkable advances relating to the encephalitic stage of sleeping sickness have also been achieved thanks to murine models. The different contributions of murine models to the African trypanosomiases knowledge are presented here. Future search directions are finally proposed, with respect to mouse model opportunities and limitations.

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