Laboratory diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in a colony-raised pigtailed macaque

Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci. 2002 Jul;41(4):42-5.


An adult (57 months), male, pigtailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) was screened for an AIDS-related research project and found to be positive on a B-cell lymphocyte culture for trypanosomes. Characterization of the trypanosome was done by using hemocultures, serology, and molecular techniques. Nucleic-acid amplification and sequencing of the nuclear repetitive sequence, kinetoplast DNA, and a fragment of the small subunit RNA gene confirmed that the trypanosome isolated was Trypanosoma cruzi and not T. rangeli, the only other trypanosome known to infect mammals in the New World. This represents the first naturally occurring case of Chagas' disease (American trypanosomiasis) in M. nemestrina, an Old World macaque, and may present an opportunity for development of an animal model of this human disease. The presence of under-recognized but enzootic T. cruzi infection in colony-raised M. nemestrina may have a significant impact on research programs, mandating effective screening of high-risk animals prior to protocol assignment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / parasitology
  • Chagas Disease / diagnosis
  • Chagas Disease / veterinary*
  • DNA, Kinetoplast / analysis
  • Macaca nemestrina*
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / veterinary
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / classification
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / isolation & purification*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / physiology


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • DNA, Kinetoplast