Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2005
Publication Date: July 5, 2005
Citation: Dos Santos, C.,DeCarvalho, A.B., Ragozo, A.M., Soares, R.M., Amaku,M., Yai, L.O., Dubey, J.P., Gennari, S.M. 2005. First isolation and molecular characterization of toxoplasma gondii from finishing pigs from Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology. 10(131):207-211.
Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts.
Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Univ. Sao Paulo ,Brazil report the first genetic characterization of T. gondii from finishing pigs in Brazil.
The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Toxoplasma gondii infection is widely prevalent in humans in Brazil. Among the food animals, pigs are considered the most important meat source of T. gondii for infection in humans. In the present paper, we report the first isolation of viable T. gondii from finishing pigs in Brazil. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 49 (17%) of 286 pigs prior slaughter using the modified agglutination test (MAT) at a serum dilution of 1:25. Attempts were made to isolate T. gondii from 28 seropositive pigs. Samples of heart, brain, and tongue from each pig were pooled, digested in acid pepsin, and bioassayed in five mice per pig. Viable T. gondii was isolated from seven pigs; all isolates were lethal for mice. Restriction fragment length polymorphism on products of SAG2 locus amplified by PCR revealed that two isolates were Type I and five were Type III. The results indicate that phenotypically and genetically T. gondii isolates from pigs from Brazil are distinct from isolates of T. gondii from pigs in the USA