Publications by authors named "Purity Kaari Gitonga"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Differential virulence of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense isolates does not influence the outcome of treatment with anti-trypanosomal drugs in the mouse model.

PLoS One 2020 5;15(11):e0229060. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Biotechnology Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kikuyu, Kenya.

We assessed the virulence and anti-trypanosomal drug sensitivity patterns of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr) isolates in the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Biotechnology Research Institute (KALRO-BioRI) cryobank. Specifically, the study focused on Tbr clones originally isolated from the western Kenya/eastern Uganda focus of human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT). Twelve (12) Tbr clones were assessed for virulence using groups(n = 10) of Swiss White Mice monitored for 60 days post infection (dpi). Based on survival time, four classes of virulence were identified: (a) very-acute: 0-15, (b) acute: 16-30, (c) sub-acute: 31-45 and (d) chronic: 46-60 dpi. Other virulence biomarkers identified included: pre-patent period (pp), parasitaemia progression, packed cell volume (PCV) and body weight changes. The test Tbr clones together with KALRO-BioRi reference drug-resistant and drug sensitive isolates were then tested for sensitivity to melarsoprol (mel B), pentamidine, diminazene aceturate and suramin, using mice groups (n = 5) treated with single doses of each drug at 24 hours post infection. Our results showed that the clones were distributed among four classes of virulence as follows: 3/12 (very-acute), 3/12 (acute), 2/12 (sub-acute) and 4/12 (chronic) isolates. Differences in survivorship, parasitaemia progression and PCV were significant (P<0.001) and correlated. The isolate considered to be drug resistant at KALRO-BioRI, KETRI 2538, was confirmed to be resistant to melarsoprol, pentamidine and diminazene aceturate but it was not resistant to suramin. A cure rate of at least 80% was achieved for all test isolates with melarsoprol (1mg/Kg and 20 mg/kg), pentamidine (5 and 20 mg/kg), diminazene aceturate (5 mg/kg) and suramin (5 mg/kg) indicating that the isolates were not resistant to any of the drugs despite the differences in virulence. This study provides evidence of variations in virulence of Tbr clones from a single HAT focus and confirms that this variations is not a significant determinant of isolate sensitivity to anti-trypanosomal drugs.
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December 2020

Comparative pathogenicity of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense strains in Swiss white mice and Mastomys natalensis rats.

Acta Trop 2015 Oct 19;150:23-8. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 62000-00200, Kenya.

We evaluated Mastomys natelensis rat as an animal model for Rhodesian sleeping sickness. Parasitaemia, clinical and pathological characteristics induced by T. b. rhodesiense isolates, KETRI 3439, 3622 and 3637 were compared in Mastomys rats and Swiss white mice. Each isolate was intra-peritonially injected in mice and rat groups (n=12) at 1×10(4) trypanosomes/0.2mL. Pre-patent period (PP) range for KETRI 3439 and KETRI 3622-groups was 3-6 days for mice and 4-5 days for rats while for KETRI 3637-infected mice and rats was 5-9 and 4-12 days, respectively. Pairwise comparison between PP of mice and rats separately infected with either isolate showed no significant difference (p>0.05). The PP's of KETRI 3637-infected mice were significantly (p>0.01) longer than those infected with KETRI 3439 or KETRI 3622, a trend also observed in rats. The second parasitaemic wave was more prominent in mice. Clinical signs included body weakness, dyspnoea, peri-orbital oedema and extreme emaciation which were more common in rats. Survival time for KETRI 3439 and 3622-infected groups was significantly (p<0.05) longer in mice than rats but similar in KETRI 3637-infected groups. Inflammatory lesions were more severe in rats than mice. All mice and KETRI 3622-infected rats had splenomegaly, organ congestion with rats additionally showing prominent lymphadenopathy. KETRI 3439-infected rats showed hemorrhagic pneumonia, enteritis with moderate splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. KETRI 3637-infected rats had the most severe lesions characterized by prominent splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, enlarged adrenal glands, organ congestion, generalized oedemas, gastroenteritis, pneumonia and brain congestion. KETRI 3637-infected Mastomys is a suitable model for studying pathophysiology of HAT.
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October 2015

Infectra(®)-kit: a device for restraining mice and confining tsetse flies during trypanosome infection transmission experiments.

Acta Trop 2013 May 12;126(2):146-9. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya.

Chemical (anaesthesia) and manual techniques are commonly used to restrain mice during vector-mediated parasite transmission experiments in the laboratory. Chemical restraint may interfere with natural fly vector-mouse interactions and therefore potentially affect the outcome of transmission experiments. Conversely, manual restraint is labour-intensive and exposes laboratory animals to excessive restraining-related discomfort. We report development of a mouse restraining device (Infectra(®)-kit) that allows essential transmission studies to be carried out with minimal human manipulation and without the need for anaesthesia. Infectra(®)-kit can be used as a single unit for restraining one mouse or as eight-assembled units, thus significantly improving efficiency of a single operator in comparison to manual restraint. The kit was validated by comparing feeding success in tsetse flies fed on mice restrained using Infectra(®)-kit (Group I) to those manually restrained (Group II). The mean±SE % feeding success was 75.0±8.2% and 82.1±8.2% for tsetse flies in Groups I and II respectively. Statistical analysis using two sample t-test showed no significant difference between the two groups at p≤0.05, indicating that Infectra(®)-kit as a restraining device was as good as the conventional manual restraint method. The main benefits of using Infectra(®)-kit for transmission studies therefore include reduction of man-hours and animal restraining-related discomfort. In addition, the risk of accidental injury to laboratory personnel by either mice or tsetse flies is minimized, which is an important consideration when working with zoonotic parasites.
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May 2013