Trypanosoma cruzi Genotype I and Toxoplasma gondii Co-infection in a Red-Necked Wallaby
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While the health effects of trypanosomes in Australian mammals in their native range are not fully understood, there is evidence of an impact in those species introduced to other geographical regions. Here we report the pathological and molecular features of concurrent fatal trypanosomiasis and toxoplasmosis in an adult female captive red-necked wallaby (syn. Bennett's wallaby; Macropus rufogriseus) from Bee County, Texas, USA. The animal exhibited no clinical signs prior to sudden death. On necropsy, the main findings were generalized organ congestion and bilateral renal petechiation. Microscopically, the main finding was lymphohistiocytic and necrotizing pancarditis with intrasarcoplasmic protozoal pseudocysts containing amastigotes and occasional intrahistiocytic amastigotes, morphologically compatible with Trypanosoma cruzi, as well as rare intrasarcoplasmic protozoal tissue cysts with zoites morphologically compatible with Toxoplasma gondii. Other lesions included acute centrilobular to panlobular necrotizing hepatitis with intrahepatocellular T. gondii cysts, necrotizing splenitis, pulmonary oedema with fibrin, histiocytosis and rare fibrin microthrombi, and acute renal tubular degeneration with proteinosis and pigmented casts suggestive of haemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria. Immunohistochemical labelling confirmed intralesional T. gondii cysts and molecular analyses identified T. cruzi genotype I and T. gondii. This is a unique case that, to the best of our knowledge, represents the first description of T. cruzi and T. gondii co-infection, as well as the first record of naturally occurring infection T. cruzi genotype I infection in macropodids. This case adds to the epidemiological knowledge on Chagas disease in the USA, particularly in Texas where there is a high prevalence of human and canine trypanosomiasis.
author list (cited authors)
Díaz-Delgado, J., Kellerman, T. E., Auckland, L., Ferro, P. J., Groch, K. R., Gomez, G., & Hamer, S. A.