Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2004
Publication Date: 4/24/2004
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Parnell, P.G., Sreekumar, C., Vianna, M.B., Deyoung, R.W., Dahl, E., Lehmann, T. 2004. Biologic and molecular characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), black-winged lory (Eos cyanogenia), and cats (Feli catus). Journal of Parasitology. 90(5):1171-1174. Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children and abortion in livestock. The role of wildlife in the transmission of T. gondii is not clear. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention have characterized genotypes of T. gondii from several wildlife species for the first time. These studies will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists and wildlife veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii isolates can be grouped into 3 genetic lineages. Type I isolates are considered virulent in out bred mice, whereas Types II and III isolates are not. In the present report, viable T. gondii was isolated for the first time from striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), and black-winged lory (Eos cyanogenia). For the isolation of T. gondii, tissues were bioassayed in mice and genotyping was based on the SAG2 locus. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from 3 of 6 skunks, 1 of 4 Canada geese, 2 of 2 feral cats (Felis catus) from Mississippi, U.S.A. All donor animals were asymptomatic. Viable T. gondii was also isolated from 5 of 5 lories that had died of acute toxoplasmosis in an aviary in South Carolina, U.S.A. Genotypes of T. gondii isolates were Type III (all skunk, lories, and the goose), and Type II (both cats). All 5 Type III isolates from birds and 2 of the 3 isolates from skunks were mouse- virulent.