Evaluation of clinical and immunopathological features of different infective doses of Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs during the acute phase.

PMID 22547991


Infection with Trypanosoma cruzi is a major risk in Latin America, and dogs are believed to be good models for evaluating Chagas disease. Here, we evaluated the clinical and immunopathological alterations developed by mongrel dogs experimentally infected with different infective doses (2,000, 20,000, and 200,000 metacyclic trypomastigotes of Sylvio X10/4 strain kg(-1) via intraperitoneal). Clinical and electrocardiographic parameters, as well as antibody production and pathologic lesions were evaluated. All three doses of this strain of T. cruzi induced a similar pattern of infection characterized by cardiac arrhythmias and severe and diffuse myocarditis. Specific anti-T. cruzi IgG indicated seroconversion by day 14 after infection, and IgG levels increased during the period of evaluation. Mortality was observed only in dogs infected with the medium or high parasite doses, but not in the group infected with a low dose of 2,000 parasites kg(-1). Infection with a low dose of parasites provides an excellent nonlethal model to evaluate the immunopathology of the acute disease in dogs infected with the Sylvio X10/4 strain of T. cruzi.