Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common in animals and humans. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally-infected children. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center report the first case of congenital toxoplasmosis in a dolphin. These results will be of interest to marine biologists, parasitologists and pathologists.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii was identified in tissues of a late term fetus stillborn to an Indo-Pacific bottle-nose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). Myocardial necrosis and non-suppurative inflammation in the heart and non-suppurative necrotizing encephalitis were associated with tachyzoites and tissue cysts. The diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti-T. gondii specific polyclonal rabbit serum.