Experimental parasitology

The innate resistance of Trypanosoma copemani to human serum.

PMID 25816975


Trypanosoma copemani is known to be infective to a variety of Australian marsupials. Characterisation of this parasite revealed the presence of stercorarian-like life-cycle stages in culture, which are similar to T. rangeli and T. cruzi. The blood incubation infectivity test (BIIT) was adapted and used to determine if T. copemani, like T. cruzi and T. rangeli, has the potential to grow in the presence of human serum. To eliminate any effects of anticoagulants on the complement system and on human high density lipoprotein (HDL), only fresh whole human blood was used. Trypanosoma copemani was observed by microscopy in all human blood cultures from day 5 to day 19 post inoculation (PI). The mechanism for normal human serum (NHS) resistance in T. copemani is not known. The results of this study show that at least one native Australian trypanosome species may have the potential to be infective for humans.