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The effect of reinfection and mixed Trypanosoma cruzi infections on disease progression in mice

Perez, C.J., Thompson, R.C.A., Keatley, S.K., Walsh, A.L. and Lymbery, A.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0542-3446 (2018) The effect of reinfection and mixed Trypanosoma cruzi infections on disease progression in mice. Acta Tropica, 178 . pp. 107-114.

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The progression of Chagas disease (CD) varies significantly from host to host and is affected by multiple factors. In particular, mixed strain infections and reinfections have the potential to exacerbate disease progression subsequently affecting clinical management of patients with CD. Consequently, an associated reduction in therapeutic intervention and poor prognosis may occur due to this exacerbated disease state.

This study investigated the effects of mixed strain infections and reinfection with Trypanosoma cruzi in mice, using two isolates from different discrete typing units, TcI (C8 clone 1) and TcIV (10R26). There were no significant differences in mortality rate, body weight or body condition among mice infected with either C8 clone 1, 10R26, or a mixture of both isolates. However, the parasite was found in a significantly greater number of host organs in mice infected with a mixture of isolates, and the histopathological response to infection was significantly greater in mice infected with C8 clone 1 alone, and C8 clone 1 + 10R26 mixed infections than in mice infected with 10R26 alone.

To investigate the effects of reinfection, mice received either a double exposure to C8 clone 1; a double exposure to 10R26; exposure to C8 clone 1 followed by 10R26; or exposure to 10R26 followed by C8 done 1. Compared to single infection groups, mortality was significantly increased, while survival time, body weight and body condition were all significantly decreased across all reinfection groups, with no significant differences among these groups. The mortality rate over all reinfection groups was 63.6%, compared to 0% in single infection groups, however there was no evidence of a greater histopathological response to infection.

These results suggest firstly, that the C8 clone 1 isolate is more virulent than the 10R26 isolate, and secondly, that a more disseminated infection may occur with a mixture of isolates than with single isolates, although there is no evidence that mixed infections have a greater pathological effect. By contrast, reinfections do have major effects on host survivability and thus disease outcome. This confirms previous research demonstrating spontaneous deaths following reinfection, a phenomenon that to our knowledge has only been reported once before.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
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