Effects of Trypanosoma brucei and Heligmosomoides bakeri infections on water consumption of lactating albino mice and the viability of their pre-weaned offspring
The effects of single and/or concurrent H. bakeri and T. brucei infections on water consumption of lactating and non-lactating mice were investigated. Pregnant mice were grouped into four (A, B, C and D) comprising of six animals per group. Groups A, B and C were either infected with H. bakeri or T. brucei alone or with both parasites together. Group D served as pregnant uninfected control while a different group (E) was used as non-pregnant and uninfected control. Packed cell volumes (PCV), faecal egg counts (FEC), worm burden and water consumption of the mice were determined. Mean live-weights of surviving offspring and their numbers were recorded. Infected animals had lower PCV compared to the controls. However, lactating mice infected with both parasites had the least PCV. Mortalities occurred in the dualinfected groups. Worm burden and FEC of mice with concurrent infections were significantly higher than that of the H. bakeri-only infected mice. Lactating mice consumed significantly more water than non-lactating mice . Uninfected and H. bakeri-only infected mice had heavier, healthy-looking and greater numbers of pups than their conjointly-infected counterparts that had fewer wrinkled-bodied pups with more early-mortalities following parturition. Drawing from these results, it is therefore necessary to promptly control diseases in pregnant and lactating animals and provide water adlibitum to lactating animals.
Keywords: Water consumption, Lactating mice, Trypanosoma brucei, Heligmosomoides bakeri, concurrent infection