Submitted to: Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 8, 2008
Publication Date: February 1, 2009
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Su, C. 2009. Population biology of Toxoplasma gondii: What's out and where did they come from? Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 104:190-195.
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 university of Tennessee report genetic diversity of Toxoplasma in animals in the Us and Brazil. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
T. gondii was considered to be clonal with little genetic variability . However, recent studies by us and several researchers have shown that the parasite is more genetically diverse than realized earlier. Here, we summarize recent genotyping data from chickens in Brazil, and pigs, lambs, and white-tailed deer in the USA to demonstrate the high genetic diversity and geographical distribution of T. gondii.