Trypanosomal antigen and antibody levels in field camels following treatment with two trypanocidal drugs.
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The efficacy of treatment in 61 naturally trypanosome-infected camels was evaluated by antigen and antibody detection. Following treatment of 14 infected field camels with an arsenical drug (RM110) no trypanosomal antigens could be detected in the animals which were treated with 0.6 mg/kg body weight and 1.2 mg/kg body weight, 90 days thereafter. In two out of three camels treated with 0.4 mg/kg body weight no trypanosomal antigens could be detected by day 90 post-treatment. However, there was evidence of trypanosomal antigens in camels treated with 0.2 mg/kg body weight and untreated positive controls. Antibody levels were still high in all the 14 camels, 90 days post-treatment. In another group of 55 field camels, of which 47 camels were parasite-positive and eight parasite-negative, trypanosomal antigens could not be detected in 42 camels, 28 and 48 days post-treatment with Quinapyramine Prosalt. However, antigen levels were still high in five parasite-positive camels, 48 days post-treatment. In all the parasite-positive camels, antibody levels were still high 48 days after treatment. In the eight parasite-negative camels, antigens were detected in four camels before treatment. By day 48 post-treatment, all the four camels were antigen-negative. However, four of the eight parasite-negative camels were still antibody-positive by day 48 post-treatment. These observations indicated that antigen-detection could be used to evaluate the success of therapeutic trials where trypanosome detection tests may fail to pick low patent infections.