Haematological changes and antibody response in trypanotolerant sheep and goats following experimental Trypanosoma congolense infection

Vet Parasitol. 1998 Nov 27;79(4):283-97. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4017(98)00171-x.


Ten West African Dwarf (WAD) female goats and twelve Djallonké ewes were artificially infected with a West African strain of Trypanosoma congolense and monitored during 36 weeks over an acute phase (weeks 0-12) and chronic phase (weeks 13-36) to evaluate their haematological and immunological response. Parasitaemia, packed cell volume, red blood cells, haemoglobin, white blood cells and trypanosomal antibodies were assessed. Mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration were calculated. The infected animals showed a persistent parasitaemia together with a chronic anaemia and significantly lower packed cell volume, red blood cell count and haemoglobin. The infected sheep developed a macrocytic, hypochromic anaemia during the acute phase changing to normocytic, hypochromic during the chronic phase, whereas, the infected goats developed a normocytic, normochromic anaemia during the acute phase and normocytic, hypochromic during the chronic phase. A significant increase in WBC counts was observed only in the infected sheep during the chronic phase. Trypanosomal antibody titres were significantly higher in the infected sheep than in the infected goats. Both species are regarded as trypanotolerant but Djallonké sheep mount a better haematopoietic and immunological response to infection with T. congolense than WAD goats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Blood Volume
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Female
  • Goat Diseases / blood*
  • Goat Diseases / immunology
  • Goat Diseases / parasitology
  • Goats
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Parasitemia / blood
  • Parasitemia / immunology
  • Parasitemia / veterinary*
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / blood*
  • Sheep Diseases / immunology
  • Sheep Diseases / parasitology
  • Time Factors
  • Trypanosoma congolense / immunology*
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / blood
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / immunology
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / veterinary*


  • Hemoglobins