Submitted to: Veterinary Clinics of North America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2009
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Lindsay, D.S., Lappin, M.R. 2009. Toxoplasmosis and other intestinal coccidial infections in cats and dogs. Veterinary Clinics of North America. 39:1009-1034.
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 ingesting undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. In the present paper, scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and 2 other institutions in the US review information on coccidial infections in cats and dogs. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Much needs to be learned concerning the pathogenesis of clinical coccidiosis in dogs. Why does coccidiosis occurs after shipping, and nothing is known of biologic differences among isolates of Isospora species of dogs and cats. Transmission of Isospora felis in cats in breeding colonies despite of strict hygiene remains an enigma. Prevention of transmission of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts from cat feces to pregnant women, marine mammals, and other endangered animals is a problem. Transmission of Neospora caninum in nature is still not fully known because dogs shed only few oocysts.