Disseminated central nervous system disease caused by Trypanosoma evansi in a horse

Dalia Berlin*, Emmanuel Loeb, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma evansi ("Surra") is mainly a wasting disease affecting equids, camels and cattle as well as other domestic and wild animal species. In horses, infection may cause severe neurological abnormalities; however, the clinical progression, pathogenesis and molecular ante-mortem detection of this form of the disease have not been described in detail. A mare with progressive ataxia, head tilt, nystagmus and cranial nerve deficits submitted to treatment was diagnosed with central nervous system trypanosomiasis following the detection of a Trypanosoma tryposmastigote in cerebrospinal fluid cytology. Histopathology following necropsy showed that the brain, spinal cord and kidneys were the main affected tissues with disseminated multifocal non-suppurative meningoencephalitis of the central nervous system and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. Serology for T. evansi was positive and PCR indicated the presence of parasite DNA in the cerebellum, brain stem, spinal cord and bone marrow but not in other organs and confirmed the identity of causative agent as T. evansi. This is the first report of ante-mortem detection of T. evansi in the cerebrospinal fluid of a horse and the first description of post-mortem PCR identification of the parasite DNA in the nervous system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 12 May 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Hebrew University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Clinical Studies Fund. The authors thank Dr. Osnat Eyal for her valuable technical help.


  • Central nervous system
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Horses
  • PCR
  • Trypanosoma evansi


Dive into the research topics of 'Disseminated central nervous system disease caused by Trypanosoma evansi in a horse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this