Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2003
Publication Date: June 20, 2003
Citation: Lindquist, A.H., Bennett, J.W., Hester, J.D., Ware, M.W., Dubey, J.P., Everson, W.V. 2003. Autofluorescence of toxoplasma gondii and related coccidian oocysts. Journal of Parasitology 89:865-867.
Interpretive Summary: Humans become infected with the Toxoplasma parasite by eating undercooked infected meat or by ingesting food or water contaminated with the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite excreted in feces of cats. Identification of oocyst in environmental samples is a major problem. Scientists at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and EPA, Cincinnati, Ohio, have found a method to distinguish Toxoplasma oocyst from related organisms. These findings will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, pathologists and public health workers.
This is the first report of blue autofluorescence as a useful characteristic in the microscopic detection of Toxoplasma gondii, Hammondia hammondi, H. heydorni, Neospora caninum, Besnoitia darlingi, and Sarcocystis neurona oocysts or sporocysts. This autofluorescence is of sufficient intensity and duration to allow identification of these oocysts from complex microscopic sample backgrounds. Similar to the autofluorescence of related coccidia, the oocysts glow pale blue when illuminated with an ultraviolet light source and viewed with the correct (UV) excitation and emission filter set.