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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269778

Title: Toxoplasma gondii: The changing paradigm of congenital toxoplasmosis

item LINDSAY, D. - Virginia-Maryland Regional College Of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM)
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2011
Publication Date: 12/1/2011
Citation: Lindsay, D.S., Dubey, J.P. 2011. Toxoplasma gondii: The changing paradigm of congenital toxoplasmosis. Parasitology. 138:1829-1831.

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 study, scientists review congenital toxoplasmosis in humans. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Researchers have learned much concerning the population biology of Toxoplasma gondii over the past two decades. It is now apparent that many atypical genotypes exist besides the typical 3 genotypes (type I, type II & type III) first described from samples from Europe and the United States. These genotypes can differ in pathogenicity and transmissibility from the typical genotypes that have been used in the majority of scientific research over the past 70 years. These differences impact much of what we used to believe as facts about congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) and will be important in developing new recommendations for prevention of CT and the monitoring of women at risk for developing CT. The present review highlights new information on T. gondii genotypes and how this information will change the way we convey information about CT to pregnant women, physicians and students.