Submitted to: Infectious Diseases of Dogs and Cats
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Lappin, M.R. 2005. Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis. In: Greene, C.E., editor. Infectious Diseases of Dogs and Cats. St. Louis, MO: Saunders-Elsevier. p. 754-775.
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 the Colorado State Univ. review toxoplasmosis in cats.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular coccidian parasite that infects virtually all species of warm blooded animals, including people. Domestic cats and other Felidae are the definitive hosts. All nonfeline hosts are intermediate hosts. There are three infectious stages: sporozoites in oocysts, tachyzoites (actively multiplying stage), and bradyzoites (slowly multiplying stage) enclosed in tissue cysts. Oocysts are excreted in feces, whereas tachyzoites and bradyzoites are found in tissues.