Experimental infections of domestic rabbits (oryctolagus cuniculus) with Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosma congolense: A comparative study
Keywords:Single infections, T. brucei, T. congolense, rabbits, comparative
Comparative study of single infections of domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) with Nigerian isolates of Trypanosoma brucei (Gboko strain), and Trypanosoma congolesense (Binchi strain) was carried out in the laboratory for clinical and haematological effects. Eighteen rabbits of 10-14 weeks old weighing between 600- 1200 grams were used for the study. The rabbits of both sexes were randomly selected and divided into groups. The level of infection was studied by determining red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin estimation, total and differential white blood cell (WBC) count, changes in body weight, mortality, rectal temperature changes and other clinical signs of trypanosomiasis. There was significant reduction (P<0.001) in the total red blood cell counts and haemoglobin level in the rabbits when compared to the control rabbits with the effect being more pronounced in those rabbits infected with T. congolense. The white blood cell count was also highest in those rabbits infected with T. congolense. Both parasites produced similar clinical symptoms which included weight loss, unthriftiness, anorexia, fever, paleness of mucous membrane, and oedema of the facial region. One death was recorded in each of the infected group. Possible reasons for the significant differences in the total red blood cell count, haemoglobin level, and total whitre blood cell count are discussed.