Acute experimental Trypanosoma cruzi infection: establishing a murine model that utilises non-invasive measurements of disease parameters

Trypanosoma cruzi infection has a large public health impact in Latin American countries. Although the transmission rates via blood transfusions and insect vectors have declined sharply in the past 20 years due to policies of the Southern Cone countries, a large number of people are still at risk for infection. Currently, no accepted experimental model or descriptions of the clinical signs that occur during the course of acute murine infection are available. The aim of this work was to use non-invasive methods to evaluate the clinical signs of Balb/c mice infected with the Y strain of T. cruzi. The infected mice displayed evident clinical changes beginning in the third week of infection. The mice were evaluated based on physical characteristics, spontaneous activity, exploratory behaviour and physiological alterations. We hope that the results presented in this report provide parameters that complement the effective monitoring of trypanocidal treatment and other interventions used to treat experimental Chagas disease.