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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 #353439

Research Project: Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites for Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Molecular methods, Toxoplasama

item SU, CHUNLEI - University Of Tennessee
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2019
Publication Date: 11/23/2019
Citation: Su, C., Dubey, J.P. 2019. Molecular methods, Toxoplasama. Book Chapter. 2071:49-80.

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 oocyst. Why some people become ill and even die from toxoplasmosis whereas others remain asymptomatic is largely unknown. The genetic characteristics of T. gondii strains are considered a factor in the pathogenesis on clinical disease. In the present paper, the authors propose a standard method for isolation and genotyping T. gondii strains. These results will be useful for parasitologist’s and biologists, especially those working with Toxoplasma.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects mammals and birds. Molecular epidemiology and population genetic studies have revealed wide spread and distinct distribution of different T. gondii genotypes globally. Animals (domestic and wild) are the reservoirs for transmission of this parasite to humans. Recent development in molecular genotyping methods allowed us to identify parasite strains with high resolution and to dissect transmission patterns among different hosts. However, current data in literature is still limited and fragmented. Here, we summarize a set of protocols that can be used to identify T. gondii infection in clinically normal animals, isolate the parasite by bioassay using animal tissues, extract parasite DNA from tissue samples, and finally identify the parasite by multilocus PCR-RFLP genotyping. We hope these protocols provide essential tools to study genetic diversity, population structure and transmission dynamics of T. gondii. Accumulation of the information will allow us to better understand, control and prevent T. gondii infection in the future.