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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED RISK MODEL FOR FOODBORNE ZOONOTIC PARASITES IN SWINE Title: Sporulation and survival of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in different types of commercial cat litters

item Dubey, Jitender
item Ferreira, Leandra -
item Martins, Juliana -
item Jones, J -

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2011
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Ferreira, L., Martins, J., Jones, J.L. 2011. Sporulation and survival of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in different types of commercial cat litters. Journal of Parasitology. 97:751-754.

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. In the present study, scientists studied survival of Toxoplasma oocysts in cat litters.The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii oocysts are environmentally resistant and can survive outdoors for months in the dry and cold climates. In the present study, sporulation and survival of T. gondii oocysts was studied in different types of cat litters commercially available in the US. Oocysts sporulated within 2-3 days in all types of bedding and remained infective for mice. Results indicate that cat litter should be changed daily to prevent sporulation.

Last Modified: 11/28/2015