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The susceptibility of rodents to schistosome infection, with special reference to Schistosoma haematobium

By J. H. S. Gear, D. H. S. Davis and R. J. Pitchford


In this investigation the susceptibility of several species of rodents—Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis, Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus, Aethomys chrysophilus, Tatera brantsi and the white mouse (SAIMR 200 strain)—to Schistosoma haematobium was determined and the pathology studied. From the results it is clear that these rodents are susceptible to infection with Schistosoma haematobium. For various reasons, notably adaptability to laboratory conditions, the most suitable as laboratory animals for the study of bilharziasis are Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus and Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis. These three species breed readily in the laboratory and show a high susceptibility to S. haematobium, with characteristic lesions involving several organs, including the lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas and intestine

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