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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE DETECTION AND CONTROL OF FOODBORNE PARASITES AND THE IMPACT ON FOOD SAFETY

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases

Title: Oral oocyst-induced mouse model of toxoplasmosis: Effect of infection with Toxoplasma gondii strains of different genotypes, dose, and mouse strains (transgenic, out-bred, in-bred) on pathogenesis and mortality

Authors
item Dubey, Jitender
item Ferreira, Leandra -
item Martins, Juliana -
item Mc Cleod, R -

Submitted to: Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2011
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Ferreira, L., Martins, J., Mc Cleod, R. 2012. Oral oocyst-induced mouse model of toxoplasmosis: Effect of infection with Toxoplasma gondii strains of different genotypes, dose, and mouse strains (transgenic, out-bred, in-bred) on pathogenesis and mortality. Parasitology. 193:1-13.

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 toxoplasmosis in mice with different strains of Toxoplasma.The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Humans and other hosts acquire Toxoplasma gondii infection by ingesting tissue cysts in undercooked meat, or by food or drink contaminated with oocysts. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent clinical disease due this parasite in humans, although, various T. gondii vaccine candidates are being developed. 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.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014