Natural Chagas disease in four baboons

Jeff T. Williams, Edward J. Dick, John L. VandeBerg, Gene B. Hubbard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations


    Background: Chagas disease is common in Central and South America and the southern United States. The causative agent is Trypanosoma cruzi (order Kinetoplastida, family Trypanosomatidae), a kinetoplastid protozoan parasite of humans and other vertebrates. It is a serious public health issue and the leading cause of heart disease and cardiovascular death in Central and South America. In 1984, a colony baboon was discovered to be infected with T. cruzi. Methods: As the initial diagnosis was made by microscopic observation of the amastigote forms of T. cruzi in myocardial fibers, T. cruzi amastigotes have been identified in three additional baboons. Results: The primary findings were similar in all four baboons and were congestive heart failure with edema of dependent areas, hydrothorax, hydropericardium, and multifocal to diffuse lymphoplasmacytic myocarditis. Conclusion: A baboon animal model of Chagas disease could contribute significantly to the development of therapies for the disease in humans.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)107-113
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of medical primatology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2009


    • Animal model
    • Heart
    • Non-human primate
    • Protozoa
    • Trypanosoma cruzi

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • veterinary(all)


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