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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Isolation of Viable Toxoplasma gondii from Tissues and Feces of Cats from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

item Dubey, Jitender
item Darrington, Courtney
item Tiao, Nary
item Ferreira, Leandra
item Choudhary, Shanti
item Molla, Bolle
item Saville, William
item Tilahun, Getachew
item Kwok, Oliver
item Gebreyes, Wondwossen

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2012
Publication Date: 2/1/2013
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Darrington, C., Tiao, N., Ferreira, L., Choudhary, S., Molla, B., Saville, W., Tilahun, G., Kwok, O.C., Gebreyes, W. 2013. Isolation of Viable Toxoplasma gondii from Tissues and Feces of Cats from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Journal of Parasitology. 99:56-58.

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 under cooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. In the present study, authors found T. gondii oocysts in feces from 8 of 36 cats, and isolated viable T. gondii from the hearts of 26 of 36 cats from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is the first finding of viable Toxoplasma in any host in Ethiopia. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Cats are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in feces. In the present study, hearts, serum, and feces from 36 feral cats from Addis Ababa area, Ethiopia were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were determined with modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Hearts of all 36 cats were homogenized, digested in pepsin, and bioassayed in mice. Feces were examined for T. gondii oocysts microscopically and by bioassay in mice. Viable T. gondii was isolated from heart of 26 by bioassay in mice. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were detected microscopically in rectal contents of 2 cats by microscopic examination and in additional 6 cats by bioassay in mice. In total, viable T. gondii was isolated from 28 of the 36 cats, and these isolates were designated TgCatEt 1 to TgCatEt 28. The high prevalence of T. gondii oocysts in feces of 8 (22.2%) of 36 cats is of high epidemiologic significance. In the present study, there was no correlation between the IgM seropositivity and isolation of T. gondii from the heart or the presence of oocysts in feces. This is the first report of isolation of viable T. gondii from any host in Ethiopia.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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