Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in the mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) in Grenada, West Indies) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2013
Publication Date: 12/30/2013
Citation: Choudhary, S., Zieger, U., Sharma, R., Chikweto, A., Tiwari, K., Ferreira, L., Oliveira, S., Barkley, L., Verma, S., Kwok, O.C., Su, C., Dubey, J.P. 2013. Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in the mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) in Grenada, West Indies. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 44:127-1130. 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. Little is known of the circulation of Toxoplasma in wildlife. In the present study scientists found Toxoplasma in feral mongoose for the first time. Isolation of T. gondii from feral mongoose indicates that the local environment is contaminated by T. gondii, and that mouse T. gondii virulent strains are circulating in wildlife in Grenada, the Caribbean. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.
Technical Abstract: Little is known of the genetic diversity and epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wildlife in Caribbean Islands. Here, we investigated prevalence and genetic diversity of T. gondii in mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus). During 2011 and 2012, 91 mongooses were trapped in different parts of Grenada, bled, killed, and necropsied. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 27 mongooses tested by the modified agglutination test (cut-off titer 25). Muscles (heart, tongue, neck) of 25 of the seropositive mongooses were bioassayed for T. gondii infection in mice. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 4 mongooses with MAT titers of 1:50 in 2, 1:200 for 1, and 1:400 for 1 mongoose. The 4 T. gondii isolates were further propagated in cell culture. Strain typing of T. gondii DNA extracted from cell-cultured tachyzoites using the 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico revealed 1 isolate belongs to the Type III (ToxoDB #2) lineage, 2 to ToxoDB#7 lineage, and 1 to the Toxo DB #216, lineage. This is the first report of T. gondii isolation and genotyping in H. auropunctatus worldwide.