Submitted to: Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2009
Publication Date: 1/5/2010
Citation: Su, C., Shwab, E.K., Zhou, P., Zhu, X., Dubey, J.P. 2010. Moving towards an integrated approach to molecular detection and identification of Toxoplasma gondii. Parasitology. 137:1-11. 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. In the present paper scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and University of Kentucky review techniques to diagnose toxoplasmosis. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Development of simple, sensitive and rapid methods for detection and identification of Toxoplasma gondii is important for diagnosis and epidemiological studies of the zoonotic disease toxoplasmosis. In the past two decades, molecular methods based on a variety of markers have been developed, each with its advantages and limitations. Application of these methods has generated invaluable information to our understanding of epidemiology, population genetics and phylogenetics of T. gondii. However, the information generated in different laboratories is fragmented. In this review, we discuss a few widely used molecular methods and propose an integrated approach to detect and identify T. gondii, and to generate maximum information for epidemiological, population and phylogenetic studies of this pathogen.