We report previously undescribed, early lesions in skeletal muscle of dogs experimentally infected with Hepatozoon americanum by ingestion of laboratory-reared, infected Amblyomma maculatum. The earliest muscle lesion was recognized at the first interval of examination 3 weeks following exposure. The lesion consisted of a large, modified host cell whose cytoplasm frequently contained a demonstrable parasite. In skeletal muscle, the cell was consistently located between muscle fibers or in loose connective tissue adjacent to those fibers. Evidence suggesting that the parasite arrives in muscle and other tissue within the host cell cytoplasm is presented. Mucopolysaccharide encystment of the host cell, absent at this early stage, was acquired gradually and approached maximal development 26 weeks post exposure. Completion of the asexual cycle as evidenced by the presence of parasites entering vascular lumens within granulomas and also by the presence of gamonts in peripheral blood leukocytes, occurred within 28-32 days postexposure. Progression of the parasite cycle from meront to passage of zoites into vessel lumens of granulomas can occur in 11 or fewer days. The density with which parasitic lesions occur in one named skeletal muscle compared to other named muscles, although somewhat variable, was not significantly different in either experimentally induced or natural infections. The distribution of developmental stages of the parasite/lesion in four experimental infections (969 lesions) is compared with those in eight dogs with natural infections (557 lesions). Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Experimental and natural infections
- Hepatozoon americanum
- Tissue stages and lesions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology