Isolation, cloning, and pathologic analysis of Trypanosoma evansi field isolates

Hirohisa Mekata, Satoru Konnai, Claro N. Mingala, Nancy S. Abes, Charito A. Gutierrez, Alan P. Dargantes, William H. Witola, Noboru Inoue, Misao Onuma, Shiro Murata, Kazuhiko Ohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the emergence of highly pathogenic Trypanosoma evansi strains in the Philippines has resulted in substantial losses in livestock production. In this study, we isolated T. evansi from infected-water buffaloes in the Philippines and analyzed their virulence using mice and cattle. A total of 10 strains of T. evansi were isolated. Evaluation of the virulence of each strain using mice depicted significant differences among the strains in the prepatent period, the level of parasitemia, and the survival time of the infected animals. In mice infected with the highly pathogenic T. evansi, signs of excessive inflammation such as marked splenomegaly and increase more than 6-fold in the number of leukocytes were observed at 8 days post-infection. To study the virulence of the parasite strains in cattle (which are the common T. evansi hosts in Philippines), cattle were infected with the T. evansi isolates that showed high and low virulence in mice. The rate of parasite growth and the length of the prepatent periods were found to be similar to those observed in mice for the respective strains. The cattle infected with the highly pathogenic strain developed anemia and a marked decrease in leukocyte counts. To determine the cause of the pathological changes, we analyzed the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines and observed up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α in anemic infected cattle. Our findings suggest that the epidemic of T. evansi in the Philippines is characterized by T. evansi strains with varying virulences from low to very high pathogenicity in cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1521
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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