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The susceptibility of two species of wallaby to infection with Trypanosoma evansi

Reid, S.A., Husein, A., Partoutomo, S. and Copeman, D.B. (2001) The susceptibility of two species of wallaby to infection with Trypanosoma evansi. Australian Veterinary Journal, 79 (4). pp. 285-288.

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Objective. To determine the susceptibility of the agile wallaby (Macropus agilis) and the dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii) to infection with Trypanosoma evansi.

Method. Two agile wallabies and three dusky pademelons were experimentally infected with between 5times104 and 10times104T evansi from a cryopreserved stabilate isolated from an Indonesian buffalo. Animals were observed twice daily for clinical signs and blood was collected every 3 days to determine parasitaemia. Necropsy was conducted on animals that died or were euthanased when in extremis and representative tissue sections examined.

Results. All wallabies developed a high parasitaemia by 6 days after infection, which persisted until death or euthanasia in extremis, between days 8 and 61. Clinical signs included anorexia, weakness and ataxia. Anaemia occurred in one wallaby that survived for 61 days. Gross pathological changes varied between animals. They included pericarditis, serous atrophy of fat, splenomegaly, ulcerative gastritis and enteritis. Histological changes were characterised by a mononuclear cell infiltration of the connective tissue of most organs with little cellular destruction. Striking lesions were seen in the choroid, heart, stomach and small intestine.

Conclusion. Agile wallabies and pademelons are highly susceptible to infection with T evansi. Wallabies, therefore, have the potential to spread T evansiwithin New Guinea and Australia if infection is introduced. Mortality is likely to be high thereby acting as an indicator of recent introduction. Histological changes seen in wallabies infected with T evansi are diagnostic for infections occurring in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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