Cats are essential in the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the environmentally resistant oocysts. Samples of serum, feces, and tissues from cats from Mona, a remote island off the coast of Puerto Rico, were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test and found in 16 of 19 (84.2%) of cats, with titers of 1:10 in 2, 1:80 in 1, 1:160 in 4, 1:320 in 3, and 1:1,280 or higher in 6. Tissues of 19 of the 20 cats were bioassayed in mice for T. gondii infection. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from tissues of 12 cats: from the hearts of 9, skeletal muscle of 10, and brain of 1 cat. All infected mice from 10 of 12 isolates died of acute toxoplasmosis during primary infection. Genotyping of these 12 T. gondii isolates (designated (TgCatPr 1–12) by 10 multilocus PCR-RFLP markers, i.e., SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and an apicoplast marker Apico, and the 6 multilocus microsatellite markers TUB2, W35, TgM-A, B18, B17, and M33, revealed 7 genotypes; 5 isolates had Type I alleles at all loci except at 1 microsatellite locus, and the remainder were atypical. The latter isolates of T. gondii were different biologically and phenotypically from the feline isolates from the rest of the Americas. One isolate (TgCatPr 12) was a mixed infection with 2 genotypes.
MOUSE-VIRULENT TOXOPLASMA GONDII ISOLATED FROM FERAL CATS ON MONA ISLAND, PUERTO RICO
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J. P. Dubey, H. Y. López-Torres, N. Sundar, G. V. Velmurugan, D. Ajzenberg, O. C H. Kwok, R. Hill, M. L. Dardé, C. Su; MOUSE-VIRULENT TOXOPLASMA GONDII ISOLATED FROM FERAL CATS ON MONA ISLAND, PUERTO RICO. J Parasitol 1 December 2007; 93 (6): 1365–1369. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-1409.1
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