1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop an integrated risk model for toxoplasma in the U.S. pork industry.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Will test various drug or vaccine candidates in mice experimentally-infected with Toxoplasma strains of different genotypes.
This is a multi-institutional five year agreement funded through National Institutes of Health. The main objective is to develop a protective vaccine for Toxoplasma. Mice are generally used to test the protective efficacy of vaccines because they are susceptible, reagents are available to measure immune parameters, in mice, and they are easily managed in the laboratory. In the present study, pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis was studied in mice of different strains, including Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) transgenic mice infected with different doses of T. gondii strains of different genotypes derived from several countries. Based on many experiments, the decreasing order of infectivity and pathogenicity of oocysts was: interferon gamma gene knock out (KO), HLA 3.11, HLA 2.1, HLA B7, Swiss Webster, C57/black, and BALB/c. Mice fed as few as 1 oocyst of Type I and several atypical strains died of acute toxoplasmosis within 21 days p.i. Type II, and III strains were less virulent. The model developed herein should prove to be extremely useful for testing vaccines because it is possible to accurately quantitate a challenge inoculum, test response to different strains of T. gondii using the same preparations of oocysts which are stable for up to a year, and to have highly reproducible responses to the infection. Project plans, goals, and accomplishments were discussed via conference calls and e-mail; technical advice was provided to the Cooperator in writing and by teleconference.