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Title: An overview of seventy years of research (1944–2014) on toxoplasmosis in Colombia, South America

item CANON-FRANCO, WILLIAM - University Of Colombia
item LOPEZ-OROZCO, NATALIA - University Of Colombia
item GOMEZ-MARIN, JORGE - University Of Colombia
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Parasites & Vectors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2014
Publication Date: 9/4/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Canon-Franco, W., Lopez-Orozco, N., Gomez-Marin, J., Dubey, J.P. 2014. An overview of seventy years of research (1944–2014) on toxoplasmosis in Colombia, South America. Parasites & Vectors. 7:427.

Interpretive Summary: The single celled parasite,Toxoplasma gondii, is the causative agent of a worldwide zoonosis. Why some persons become sick and even die of toxoplasmosis whereas most remain symptomless is largely unknown. Recently it has been suggested that the parasite strain genetic makeup is one of the factors that might account for illness. This hypothesis is based on the observations that clinical toxoplasmosis in South America is more severe and the Toxoplasma strains from this part of the world are different than those of North America and Europe. In the present papers scientists review clinical toxoplasmosis in Colombia, and provide support for this hypothesis. The findings are of interest to USDA with respect to trade and travel. Overall the paper will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and epidemiologists.

Technical Abstract: This study reviews toxoplasmosis research in Colombia, beginning with the first report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in 1944. Here we summarize prevalence of T. gondii in humans and animals and associated correlates of infection, clinical spectrum of disease in humans, and genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from Colombia. Areas of research for future are outlined. Recent studies especially in the states of Antioquia, Quindío and Bogotá indicate that toxoplasmosis is a major public health. Approximately half of the women of child bearing age have T. gondii antibodies and the clinical disease in congenitally infected children is more severe than in Europe. Limited studies indicate that the strains of T. gondii from Colombia are genetically and phenotypically different than in Europe and North America. However, epidemiological factors, such as the involvement of domestic and/or wild animals in transmission, the distribution of strain diversity by natural geographic regions and the variation in risk factors between regions that are associated with human infection in Colombia, remain unknown. This review should be of interest to biologists, veterinarians, physicians, and parasitologists.