The chemotherapeutic efficacy of diminazene aceturate (Berenil)–a standard veterinary trypanocide and pentamidine isethionate (PMI)–a human trypanocide was compared in dogs experimentally infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Also, the activities of the drugs on some serum liver enzymes were evaluated before and after treatment to ascertain the relative safety of the drugs. Fifteen local dogs (mongrels) were used for the study. Three of the dogs were uninfected controls, and twelve were infected with a stock of T. brucei brucei. Three of the infected dogs were untreated controls, three were given diminazene aceturate (DA) at 7 mg/kg body weight intramuscularly (i/m), another three received pentamidine isethionate (PMI) at 4 mg/kg i/m on days 14, 17, 19, 27, 29, and 31 post infection (PI) and the remaining three dogs were also given same dose of PMI on days 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 PI. Both trypanocides effectively cleared the parasites from the blood of the infected treated dogs. However, the infection subsequently relapsed at day 42 PI in one of the dogs in the DA treated group which later died at day 70 PI. Relapse infection was not recorded with the PMI treated groups although two dogs died in the PMI treated group II (treatment at days 14, 17, 19, 27, 29, and 31 PI) without showing relapsed parasitaemia. The packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell (RBC) count, and haemoglobin (Hb) level which decreased significantly following infection, were reversed by the trypanocidal treatment. The reversal in the red cell values was faster in the PMI treated groups than in the DA treated group. The serum alkaline phosphate (SAP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels increased following infection and drug administration. The increase in the enzyme levels was greater in the DA treated groups than PMI treated groups. It was thus concluded that PMI given at 4 mg/kg i/m at days 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 PI constituted a safe and efficient trypanocide and exhibited a superior trypanocidal action than DA in T. brucei brucei infected dogs.
Veterinary Parasitology 03/2008; 151(2-4):139-49. DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.10.024