Clinical Manifestations of Plasmodium berghei ANKA Infection in Juvenile Mice: A Short Case Report
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Malaria is an important health and development challenge in Africa, Animal models most particularly mice, have long been employed to study malaria pathogenesis. Clinical manifestations due to Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection in juvenile mice as a model for understanding the complications of congenital malaria in neonates. Forty-five juvenile mice (5-7 days old) were acquired from University College Hospital, Ibadan and injected with 2×107 (0.2 ml) Plasmodium berghei ANKA parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs). Mice were transported to the study site, kept in well ventilated cages and fed daily with a balanced ration. Every day after post-P. berghei infection, mice were monitored for mortality. Clinical manifestations of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) was assessed and confirmed if at least ruffled fur, hunching, wobbly gait, limb paralysis, convulsions, or coma was observed. Each sign was given a score of 1. Animals with scores ≥4 were considered to have severe ECM. 20 (44%) mice were lost due to natural cause (i.e. stress) at day 2 of the experiment. Between day 4 and 9, 25 (56%) of the study mice presented clinical signs of ECM which includes; ruffled fur 25(100%), hunching 21 (84%), wobbly gait 17 (68%), limb paralysis 20 (80%), convulsions 25 (100%) and subsequently died. Survival rate and severity of ECM in the mice differs, 22 (88.0%) had severe ECM and 3(12.0%) had mild ECM. This study has shown that parasite establishment and malaria complications can manifest as early as 4 days’ post P. berghei infection in 5-7 days old mice.
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