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A possible role for rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and wild pigs in spread of Trypanosoma evansi from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea

Reid, S.A., Husein, A., Hutchinson, G.W. and Copeman, D.B. (1999) A possible role for rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and wild pigs in spread of Trypanosoma evansi from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 94 (2). pp. 195-197.

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    Abstract

    Movement of transmigrants and livestock from western Indonesia to southeastern areas of Irian Jaya near the border with Papua New Guinea may pose a risk of introducing Trypanosoma evansi into Papua New Guinea via feral Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and wild pigs which inhabit these areas in large numbers. Pilot experimental studies were conducted to observe infection in pigs and Rusa deer with a strain of T. evansi isolated in Indonesia. Parasitaemia and signs of clinical disease were monitored each second day for 120 days. Trypanosomes were observed in haematocrit tubes at the plasma-buffy coat interface of jugular blood of deer and pigs on 86% and 37% of sampling occasions respectively. Parasitaemia was at a high level in deer for 35% of the time but for only 11.5% of the time in pigs. Results indicate that both Rusa deer and pigs have a high tolerance for infection with T. evansi. The deer suffered mild anaemia evidenced by a 25% reduction in packed cell volume (PCV) 14 days after infection which coincided with the initial peak in parasitaemia. However, PCV had returned to pre infection values by the end of the experiment. The pigs showed no change in PCV. There were no visual indications of disease in either species and appetite was not noticeably affected. It was concluded that both Rusa deer and pigs were capable reservoir hosts for T. evansi but that Rusa deer, with their more persistent higher levels of parasitaemia, have more potential to spread T. evansi into Papua New Guinea from West Irian than pigs.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Publisher: Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Ministério da Saúde
    Copyright: Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3443
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