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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 #382312

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Recent epidemiologic, clinical, and genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii infections in non-human primates

item Dubey, Jitender
item MURATA, FERNANDO - Non ARS Employee
item Kwok, Oliver
item YANG, YURONG - Henan Agricultural University
item SU, CHUNLEI - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: Research in Veterinary Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2021
Publication Date: 4/16/2021
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Murata, F.H., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Kwok, O.C., Yang, Y., Su, C. 2021. Recent epidemiologic, clinical, and genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii infections in non-human primates. Research in Veterinary Science. 136:631-641.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis. The USDA provided the veterinary, clinical, and public health communities an indispensable resource by disseminating up to date scientific information on toxoplasmosis and its prevention. Humans become infected mostly by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts or by eating infected under cooked meat. Among many hosts of Toxoplasma New World monkeys are the most susceptible hosts of T. gondii. As an examples squirrel monkeys can die suddenly of acute toxoplasmosis and infections can be hazardous to other monkeys in close contact and to humans who handle sick monkeys. Compared with New World monkeys seldom suffer severe clinical toxoplasmosis. This paper reviews literature from the past five decades, including but not limited to scientific discoveries made by USDA scientists. No experiments or surveys were performed since the redirection of USDA’s program on toxoplasmosis.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. The present review summarizes worldwide information on the prevalence of clinical and subclinical infections, epidemiology, diagnosis, and genetic diversity of T. gondii in non-human primates for the past decade. Seroprevalence estimates of T. gondii worldwide were tabulated for each host. Risk factors associated with T. gondii infections are evaluated. New World primates in captivity were highly susceptible to T. gondii infection and died of disseminated toxoplasmosis. T. gondii can be transmitted to monkeys in contact with sick monkeys. Therefore, precautions should be taken to prevent transmission of T. gondii to humans while handling sick monkeys. There were no reports of clinical toxoplasmosis in Old World primates. Among the different genera of New World monkeys, susceptibility to clinical toxoplasmosis varies a great deal; however, factors affecting this susceptibility are not fully understood. Genetic characteristics of T. gondii strains is one of the factors now recognized as affecting the clinical outcome of toxoplasmosis in humans. For examples, strains with atypical genotypes have been isolated from adult humans in French Guiana. In this review, genetic diversity of 6 isolates and 22 DNA samples derived from tissues of animals who died of acute toxoplasmosis was analyzed. It revealed 9 different genotypes including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotypes #1 or #3 (together as type II) for 13 samples, #4 for 1, #11 for 7, #13 for 1, #21 for 1, #36 for 1, #163 for 2, and 1 for each of two new genotypes.