Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the protozoan (single celled) parasite Toxoplasma gondii is widely prevalent in warm-blooded animals including humans. It causes abortion in livestock and loss of vision and mental retardation in children. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the National University in Costa Rica report for the first time fatal toxoplasmosis in a porcupine from a zoo. This is the first host record for T. gondii.
An adult porcupine (Coendou mexicanus) from the National Zoo, San Jose, Costa Rica died because of toxoplasmosis involving heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Toxoplasma gondii was found in lesions and the diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with T. gondii specific antibodies. This is apparently a new host record for T. gondii.