Journal of
Cell and Animal Biology

  • Abbreviation: J. Cell Anim. Biol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0867
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCAB
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 261

Full Length Research Paper

Biochemical changes in the plasma of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) experimentally infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense

Ngure R. M.1, Ndung’u J. M.5, Ngotho J. M.4, Nancy M. K.1, Maathai R. G.2, and Gateri L. M.3
1Egerton University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology P. O. BOX 536 Egerton, Kenya. 2University of Nairobi, Department of Biochemistry, P. O. BOX 30197 Nairobi, Kenya 3Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Trypanosomiasis Research Centre (TRC), .P. O. BOX 362 Kikuyu, Kenya. 4Institute of Primate Research, P. O. BOX 24481 Karen, Kenya. 5Head of HAT diagnostics programme, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, 71 avenue Louis Casai, PO Box 93 1216 Cointrin, Switzerland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 May 2008
  •  Published: 31 July 2008


Biochemical evaluation of plasma during disease conditions gives an indication of the functional status of the various body organs. Biochemical analysis of plasma from 32 vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense revealed at various stages of infection, dramatic increases in blood urea nitrogen, triglycerides, cholesterol and tissue enzymes including creatine kinase (CK), alkaline phosphatase (ALKP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Serum levels of total protein however showed a decline one week after infection but returned to control levels while creatinine increased then declined to control levels. The changes in total proteins, enzyme levels and albumin indicate severe tissue damage, metabolic abnormality and the development of liver and kidney malfunctions similar to those reported in sleeping sickness patients. This demonstrates that the vervet monkey is a good model to study various aspects of the disease. The changes in total proteins, albumin and triglycerides could also have important implications on the pathogenesis of African trypanosomosis and the effectiveness of treatment.


Key words: Trypanosomes, biochemical changes, monkey model.