Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2008
Publication Date: 12/10/2008
Citation: Velmurugan, G., Dubey, J.P., Su, C. 2008. Genotyping studies of toxoplasma gondii isolates from Africa revealed that the archetypal clonal lineages predominate as in North America and Europe. Veterinary Parasitology. 155:314-318.
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 chickens from Africa. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Until recently, Toxoplasma gondii was considered to be clonal with very little genetic variability. Recent studies indicate that T. gondii isolates from Brazil are genetically and biologically different from T. gondii isolates from USA and Europe. However, little is known of the genetics of T. gondii strains from Africa. In this study we genotyped 19 T. gondii isolates from chickens from six African countries (Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Congo, Mali, Burkina Fasco) using 10 PCR-RFLP markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). The results revealed four genotypes. Thirteen isolates belong to the Type III lineage, five isolates have type II alleles at all loci except apico and they belong to the Type II lineage. One isolate from Nigeria had atypical genotype. In general, these isolates were mostly clonal Type III and II strains that predominate in North American and European. DNA sequencing at several loci for representative isolates confirmed the results of PCR-RFLP genotyping. Taken together with recent studies of T. gondii isolates from Africa, it is clear that the three clonal lineages (Type I, II and III) predominate not only in North America and Europe, but also in Africa.