Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Velmurugan, G.V., Morales, J.A., Arguedas, R., Su, C. 2009. Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from the keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) from Costa Rica. Journal of Parasitology. 95:467-468.
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 an university in Costa Rica, and University of Tenneesseel report isolation of Toxoplasma from muscles of a Tocan and genetically characterize it. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Pectoral muscles from a captive keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) from the Costa Rican were fed to a Toxoplasma gondii-free cat and the cat shed oocysts. Laboratory mice fed these oocysts developed antibodies to T. gondii in their sera and T. gondii tissue cysts in their brains. The DNA extracted from the brains of infected mice was characterized using 10 polymerase chain reaction-restricted fragement length polymorphic markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). The isolate designated TgRsCr1 was found to be non-clonal with Type I, II, III alleles at different loci. This is the first isolation of T. gondii from this host.