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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 #362160

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: A rapid and sensitive method for Toxoplasma gondii oocyst detection in soil

item ESCOTTE-BINET, SANDIE - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne
item MALIK DA SILVA, ABDOU - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne
item CANCES, BENJAMIN - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne
item AUBERT, DOMINIQUE - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne
item Dubey, Jitender
item LA CARBONA, STEPHANIE - Actalia Securite Des Aliment
item VILLENA, ISABELLE - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne
item POULLE, MARIE-LAZARINE - Universite De Reims Champagne-Ardenne

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2019
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Citation: Escotte-Binet, S., Malik Da Silva, A., Cances, B., Aubert, D., Dubey, J.P., La Carbona, S., Villena, I., Poulle, M. 2019. A rapid and sensitive method for Toxoplasma gondii oocyst detection in soil. Veterinary Parasitology. 274(2019):108904.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a public health problem worldwide. This parasite infects all warm-blooded hosts, including humans. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. The ingestion of food and water contaminated with resistant stage of the parasite, the oocyst, is a major mode of transmission of this parasite. Of all the hosts infected, only cats are known to excrete oocysts in feces. Cats can excrete millions of oocysts after eating an infected prey, such as a mouse or a bird. Oocysts can survive outdoors for months and they are highly infectious to humans. Detection of oocysts in the environment is a technically difficult. In the present paper, the authors describe a protocol for efficient detection of Toxoplasma oocysts in soil. The paper will be of interest to biologists, epidemiologists and parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is the protozoan parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, one of the most prevalent zoonosis worldwide. It can cause serious illness in immunocompromised people and congenital toxoplasmosis by the passage while pregnant from mother to unborn children. Toxoplasma oocysts are deposited in soil with faeces of the definitive host. Documenting the extent of soil contamination with T. gondii oocysts is a key issue in the toxoplasmosis prevention. Our aim was to improve practicability and sensitivity of the low cost method to detect T. gondii DNA in soil sample. Various parameters are tested, like dispersion solutions, density gradients, lysis method, extraction kit and others. The resulting optimized protocol is quicker and easier to use than the previous one and its efficiency is better, with a detection limit under 1 oocyst/g of fresh soil.