Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 1047–1061 | Cite as

Biology of Trypanosoma (Trypanozoon) evansi in experimental heterologous mammalian hosts

  • K. K. MisraEmail author
  • S. Roy
  • A. Choudhury
Original Article


Trypanosoma (Trypanozoon) evansi is a causative agent of the dreadful mammalian disease trypanosomiasis or ‘Surra’ and carried as a latent parasite in domestic cattle but occasionally proves fatal when transmitted to horses and camel. Sporadic outbreak of ‘Surra’ to different animals (beside their natural hosts) reminds that T. evansi may be zoonotic, as their close relative cause sleeping sickness to human being. This haemoflagellate is mechanically transmitted by horse fly and its effect on different host varies depending on certain factors including the effectiveness of transmission by mechanical vector, the suitability and susceptibility of the host as well as most importantly the ability of the disease establishment of parasite to adapt itself to the host’s resistance, etc. The course of the disease caused by T. evansi is similar to that of human sleeping sickness caused by T. (T.) brucei gambiense. The target organs and symptoms show close similarity. T. evansi can successfully be transmitted among unnatural hosts i.e., other classes of vertebrates, like chicken. In transmission experiments, the unnatural hosts may sometimes induce profound changes in the biology of trypanosomes. Hence, in present study the observations are the biology of different morphological changes of T. evansi as well as its ability of disease formation within some heterologous mammal viz., albino rat, guineapig, bandicoot, mongoose, domestic cat and common monkey. Blood smears of infected albino rats, bandicoot, and mongoose revealed only monomorphic form. Interestingly, blood smears of infected cat and monkey, T. evansi shows slender trypomastigote form and short intermediate form whereas organ smears shows other two forms of haemoflagellate viz., sphaeromastigote and amastigote form. The haemoflagellate maintains a common reproductive cycle in all the experimental heterologous hosts whereas disease symptoms differ. T. evansi infected cat and monkey shows nervous symptoms. Infected monkey expresses some symptoms similar to that of human sleeping sickness disease. Thus the paper highlights zoonotic potentialities of T. evansi.


Bandicoot rat Cat Monkey Pleomorphic forms Surra Trypanosoma evansi Zoonosis 



The authors are thankful to the Head of the Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta for necessary laboratory facilities. The author (KKM) pays his gratefulness to the Principal, R. B. C. College, Naihati for this work.


  1. Bal MS, Singla LD, Kumar H, Vasudev A, Gupta K, Juyal PD (2012) Pathological studies on experimental Trypanosoma evansi infection in Swiss albino mice. J Parasit Dis 36(2):260–264. doi: 10.1007/s12639-012-0120-5 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Biswas D, Choudhury A, Misra KK (2001) Histopathology of Trypanosoma (Trypanozoon) evansi infection in bandicoot rat. I Visceral organs. Exp Parasitol 99:148–159CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Biswas D, Choudhury A, Misra KK (2010) Histopathology of Trypanosoma (Trypanozoon) evansi infection in bandicoot rat. II Brain and choroid plexus. Proc Zool Soc 63:27–37. doi: 10.1007/s12595-010-0004-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brun R, Hecker H, Lun ZR (1998) Trypanosoma evansi and T. equiperdum: distribution, biology, treatment and phylogenetic relationship (a review). Vet Parasitol 79:95–107CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Choudhury A, Misra KK (1972a) Experimental infection of Trypanosoma evansi in the carnivore host. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 66:365CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Choudhury A, Misra KK (1972b) Experimental infection of Trypanosoma evansi in the cat. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 67:672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Choudhury A, Misra KK (1973) Occurrence of amastigote and sphaeromastigote stages of T. evansi in the brain tissue of cat. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 67:609CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Claes F, Agbo EC, Radwanska M, Tepas MFW, Baltz T, Dewaal DT, Goddeeris BM, Classen E, Busher P (2003) How does Trypanosoma equiperdum fit into the Trypanozoon group? A cluster analysis by RAPD and multiplex-endonuclease genotyping approach. Parasitology 26:425–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Claes F, Buscher P, Touratier L, Goddeeris BM (2005) Trypanosoma equiperdum: master of disguise or historical mistake? Trends Parasitol 21(7):316–321CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis BS (1952) Studies on the trypanosomes of some Californian mammals. Univ California Pub Zool 57:145Google Scholar
  11. Desquesnes M, Holzmuller P, De-Hua Lai, Dargantes A, Zhao-Rong Lun, Jittaplapong S (2013a) Trypanosoma evansi and surra: a review and perspectives on origin, history, distribution, taxonomy, morphology, hosts, and pathogenic effects. Biomed Res Int. doi: 10.1155/2013/194176 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Desquesnes M, Dargantes A, Holzmuller P, De-Hua Lai, Zhao-Rong Lun, Jittaplapong S (2013b) Trypanosoma evansi and surra: a review and perspectives on transmission epidemiology and control impact, and zoonotic aspects. Biomed Res Int. doi: 10.1155/2013/321237 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoare CA (1956) Morphological and taxonomic studies on mammalian trypanosomes. Revision of Trypanosoma evansi. Parasitology 46:130–172Google Scholar
  14. Hoare CA (1972) The trypanosomes of mammals. Blackwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoare CA (1976) Accidental infection of man with foreign mammalian trypanosomes. Proc Zool Soc Calcutta 39:1–7Google Scholar
  16. Jensen RE, Simpson L, Englund PT (2008) What happens when Trypanosoma brucei leaves Africa. Trends Parasitol 24:428–431CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Joshi PP, Shegokar VR, Power RM, Herder S, Katti R, Salkar HR, Dani VS, Bhaegava A, Jannin J, Truc P (2005) Human trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma evansi in India: the first case report. Am J Trop Med Hyg 73:491–495CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lai DH, Hashimi H, Lun ZR, Ayala FJ, Lukes J (2008) Adaptations of Trypanosoma brucei to gradual loss of kinetoplast DNA: Trypanosoma equiperdum and Trypanosoma evansi are petite mutants of T. brucei. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(6):1999–2004CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Losos GJ, Ikede BO (1972) Review of pathology of diseases in domestic and laboratory animals caused by T. congolense, T. brucei, T. rhodesiense, T. gambiense. Vet Pathol 9 (Suppl):1–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manohar BM, Selvaraj J, Jayathangaraj MG, Khan PN (2003) Pathology of Trypanosoma evansi infection in a tiger. Indian Vet J 80:505–507Google Scholar
  21. Misra KK (1981) Zoonotic potentiality of Trypanosoma evansi in India. Proc 6th Intern Cong Protozool Warsaw 225Google Scholar
  22. Misra KK (1986) Incompatibility of mutated population of Trypanosoma evansi in sympatric condition. Arch Protistenkd 131:159–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Misra KK, Choudhury A (1974) Multiplication of visceral forms of T. evansi in cat. Proceedings of the III International Congres of Parasitology Mϋnchen 1 : 204Google Scholar
  24. Misra KK, Choudhury A (1975) Experimental infection of Trypanosoma evansi (Steel) in rhesus monkey. Proc 62nd Ind Sci Congr Assoc 99:167Google Scholar
  25. Misra KK, Ghosh M, Choudhury A (1976) Experimental transmission of Trypanosoma evansi to chicken. Acta Protozool 15:381–386Google Scholar
  26. Morales GA, Carreno F (1976) The proechemys rat, a potential laboratory host and model for the study of Trypanosoma evansi. Trop Anim Health Prod 8:122–124Google Scholar
  27. Nijjar SS, Del Bigio MR (2007) Cerebral trypanosomiasis in an incarcerated man. Can Med Assoc J 176:448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ormered WE, Venkatesan S (1970) The choroid plexus in African sleeping sickness. Lancet 2:777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ormered WE, Venkatesan S (1971a) The occult visceral phase of mammalian trypanosomes with special reference to the life cycle of Trypanosoma (Trypanosoon) brucei. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 65:722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ormered WE, Venkatesan S (1971b) An amastigote phase of the sleeping sickness trypanosome. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 65:736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Powar RM, Shegokar VR, Joshi PP, Dani VS, Tankhiwale NS, Truc P, Jannin J, Bhargava A (2006) A rare case of human trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma evansi. Indian J Med Microbiol 24:72–74CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Prasad KL, Kondaiah PM, Rayulu VC, Srilatha Ch (2013) Prevalence of canine trypanosomiasis in certain areas of Andhra Pradesh. J Parasit Dis. doi: 10.1007/s12639-013-0326-1 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Ravindran R, Rao JR, Mishra AK, Pathak KML, Babu N, Satheesh CC, Rahul S (2008) Trypanosoma evansi in camels, donkeys and dogs in India: comparison of PCR and light microscopy for detection—short communication. Vet Arhiv 78(1):89–94Google Scholar
  34. Rodrigues A, ϖςhera RA, Souza TM, Schild AL, Barros CSL (2009) Neuropathology of naturally occurring Trypanosoma evansi infection of horses. Vet Pathol 46:251. doi: 10.1354/vp.46-2-251 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Shegokar VR, Powar RM, Joshi PP, Bhargava A, Dani V, Katti R, Zare V, Khanande VD, Jannin J, Truc P (2006) Short report: human trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma evansi in a village in India: preliminary serological survey of the local population. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75:869–870CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Soltys MA, Woo P (1969) Multiplication of Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma congolense in vertebrate hosts. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 63:490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Soltys MA, Woo P (1970) Further studies on tissue forms of Trypanosoma brucei in a vertebrate host. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 64:492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Soltys MA, Woo P, Gillick AC (1969) A preliminary note on the separation and infectivity of tissue forms of Trypanosoma brucei. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 63:495CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Tarello W (2005) Trypanosoma evansi infection in three cats. Revue Méd Vét 156(3):133–134Google Scholar
  40. Tejero F, Roschman G, Carmona A, Mercedes T, Aso P (2008) Trypanosoma evansi: a quantitative approach to the understanding of the morphometry-hematology relationship throughout experimental murine infections. Protozool Res 18:34–47Google Scholar
  41. Vanhollebeke B, Pays E (2010) The trypanolytic factor of human serum: many ways to enter the parasite, a single way to kill. Mol Microbiol 76:806–814CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Vanhollebeke B, Truc P, Poelvoorde P, Pays A, Joshi PP, Katti R, Jannin JG, Pays E (2006) Human Trypanosoma evansi infection linked to a lack of apolipoprotein L-1. N Eng J Med 355:2752–2756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Varshney JP, Bandyopadhyay S, Raina R, Saghar SS (2003) Diagnosis and treatment of Trypanosoma evansi associated corneal opacity in dogs. J Vet Parasitol 17(1):53–55Google Scholar
  44. Ventura RM, Takeda GF, Silva RA, Nune VL, Buck GA, Teixeira MM (2002) Genetic relatedness among Trypanosoma evansi stocks by random amplification of polymorphic DNA and evaluation of a synapomorphic DNA fragment for species-specific diagnosis. Int J Parasitol 32:53–63CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Zablotskij VT, Georgiu C, Dewaal T, Clausen PH, Claes F, Tourateir L (2003) The current challenges of dourine: difficulties in differentiating Trypanosoma equiperdum within the subgenus Trypanozoon. Rev Sci Tech 22(3):1087–1096CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyR. B. C. CollegeNaihatiIndia
  2. 2.City CollegeKolkataIndia
  3. 3.University of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyAsutosh CollegeKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations