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Title: Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from the brain of a dog in Australia and its biological and molecular characterisation

item AL-QASSAB, SARWAT - University Of Technology Sydney
item REICHEL, MICHAEL - University Of Technology Sydney
item SU, CHUNLEI - University Of Tennessee
item JENKINS, DAVID - Charles Stuart University
item HALL, CRAIG - Novartis
item WINDSOR, PETER - University Of Sydney
item Dubey, Jitender
item ELLIS, JOHN - University Of Technology Sydney

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2009
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Al-Qassab, S., Reichel, M.P., Su, C., Jenkins, D., Hall, C., Windsor, P.A., Dubey, J.P., Ellis, J. 2009. Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from the brain of a dog in Australia and its biological and molecular characterisation. Veterinary Parasitology. 164:335-339.

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. This paper reports genetic characteristics of aToxoplasma isolate from a dog in Australia. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from the brain of a young dog for the first time in Australia. The identity of the parasite was confirmed by PCR, Western blotting, electron microscopy and cat bioassay. Genotyping of the isolate (TgDgAu1) was determined by PCR-RFLP markers that showed it to be a Type II strain. Serology demonstrated the presence of IgM antibodies to T. gondii suggesting the bitch was probably infected during pregnancy and the T. gondii was transmitted to the pups congenitally. We believe this represents the first description of a natural case of congenital transmission of T. gondii in the dog.