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Trop Med Parasitol. 1985 Dec;36(4):215-24.

Loa loa: development and course of patency in experimentally-infected primates.


Loa loa infections were studied in baboons, rhesus and patas monkeys. Animals were infected either by s.c. injection of third-stage larvae (L 3) or by surgical implantation of juvenile worms of known age, sex and number. Microfilaremia was first detected in baboons at 140 days following inoculation of L 3 and at 142 days and 143 days in patas and rhesus monkeys, respectively; the mean prepatent period was 151 days in baboons, 149 days in patas monkeys and 169 days in rhesus monkeys. The primary wave of microfilariae (mf) was suppressed by the spleen in all three primate species. In baboons, the initial wave of mf lasted from 11 to 46 weeks (mean: 22 weeks), whereas in patas monkeys it persisted for 47 to 60 weeks, and in rhesus monkeys for 1 to 2 years. Gross and microscopical changes in the spleen were noted in all three primate species and consisted of numerous granulomata in the red pulp underlying the capsule. A resurgence of mf was observed following splenectomy in all three species of monkeys. Postsplenectomy levels of microfilaremia typically exceeded presplenectomy levels. One pair of worms was sufficient to produce patent infections in monkeys for extended periods of time. However, levels of microfilaremia were lower than in monkeys which received 75 and 200 to 300 L 3, although some overlap in microfilaremias between groups did occur. Overall, there was no proportional relationship between levels of microfilaremia and numbers of adult worms recovered from monkeys at necropsy. It was observed that, in the primate host, Loa is a long-lived parasite. Living worms were recovered from the tissues as long as 9 years after inoculation and there was no reason to doubt that patency would have persisted for some time into the future. Adult worms were frequently observed moving freely in the subcutaneous tissues of the primate hosts, although no instance of Calabar swellings or the presence of worms in or around the eye were ever recorded. The primate model of loiasis is an especially useful system because of the predictability of the behavior of the parasite. In most regards, the behavior of L. loa in the primate host is comparable to observations on the parasi e in man.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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