Impaired epididymal function of albino rats infected and treated with Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma congolense

  • M. I. Okpala
  • I. O. Ezeh
  • C. F. ObiEmail author
  • I. S. Ochiogu
  • R. I. Obidike
  • R. C. Ezeokonkwo
Original Article


The effect of trypanosomosis (Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma congolense infection) and diminazene aceturate treatment on the epididymal function of male albino rats was investigated. Twenty-five adult male albino rats were used for this study. They were randomly assigned into 5 groups of 5 rats each. Group 1 was the uninfected untreated group while groups 2 and 3 were infected with 5 × 105T. congolense. Groups 4 and 5 were infected with 5 × 105T. brucei brucei. Rats in groups 2 and 4 were humanely sacrificed at the peak of parasitemia, i.e., on days 7 and 14 PI respectively and their epididymides dissected out for the enumeration of epididymal sperm cells. Groups 3 and 5 rats were treated with 3.5 mg/kg and 7 mg/kg diminazene aceturate (Tryponil®) respectively and later sacrificed at week 7 of the experiment. The epididymides of the rats were also dissected out and epididymal sperm reserves (ESR) of all the rats enumerated. Hyperacute and acute trypanosomosis were observed following T. congolense and T. brucei brucei infections respectively. The uninfected control group had significantly higher (P ˂ 0.05) ESR compared with the infected groups with the group 3 rats having the least ESR, thus implying impaired epididymal function. There was an improvement (P ˂ 0.05) in the ESR of group 5 rats compared with the group 4 rats while treatment was of no effect in the T. congolense–treated group. It was therefore concluded that trypanosomal infection adversely impaired epididymal function. Resolution of epididymal function in T. brucei brucei–infected rats may be possible following treatment with diminazene aceturate.


Impaired epididymal function Trypanosoma brucei brucei Trypanosoma congolense Diminazene aceturate Albino rats 


Author’s contributions

RCE and RIO designed the study. MIO, IOE, ISO, and CFO carried out the laboratory experiment. IOE and CFO performed the statistical analysis while CFO drafted the manuscript. All authors read, critically revised the manuscript for intellectual content, and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no competing interests.

Ethical approval

Valid approval and ethical clearance were obtained from the Ethics Committee for Medical and Scientific Research of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, before the commencement of this study. Also, all applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Obstetrics and Reproductive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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