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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 #307943

Title: Transmission of Toxoplasma gondii - from land to sea: a personal perspective

item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: A Century of Parasitology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2016
Publication Date: 3/20/2016
Citation: Dubey, J.P. 2016. Transmission of Toxoplasma gondii - from land to sea: a personal perspective. A Century of Parasitology. 148-164.

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, author reviewed progress made concerning transmission of Toxoplasma. The results will be of interest to biologists, and Parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: It has been 100 years since the discovery of Toxoplasma gondii in 1908. Its full life cycle was not discovered until 1970 when it was found that it is a coccidian parasite of cats with all non-feline warm blooded animals (including humans) as intermediate hosts. The discovery of the environmentally resistant stage of the parasite, the oocyst, made it possible to explain its worldwide prevalence. In the present paper, transmission of T. gondii is summarized, and events leading to the discovery of the life cycle of the parasite are recalled.