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
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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