Neurological trypanosomiasis in quinapyramine sulfate-treated horses—a breach of the blood–brain barrier?
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Trypanosoma evansi infection typically produces wasting disease, but it can also develop into a neurological or meningoencephalitis form in equids. Trypanosomiasis in horses was treated with quinapyramine sulfate, and all the 14 infected animals were recovered clinically. After clinical recovery, four animals developed a neurological form of the disease at various intervals. Two of these animals treated with diminazene aceturate recovered temporarily. Repeated attempts failed to find the parasite in the blood or the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but all of the animals were positive in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The calculation of the antibody index (AI) in the serum and the CSF and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of the CSF and brain tissue were carried out to confirm the neuro-infection. We found PCR and AI analyses of the CSF to be useful tools in the diagnosis of the neurological form of trypanosomiasis when the organism cannot be found in the blood or CSF. The increased albumin quotient is indicative of barrier leakage due to neuroinflammation. The biochemical changes in the CSF due to nervous system trypanosomiasis include increases in the albumin quotient, total protein, and urea nitrogen. It seems to be the first report on relapse of the nervous form of trypanosomiasis in equids even after quinapyramine treatment in endemic areas.