Vet Parasitol. 2009 Jun 6. [Epub ahead of print]
In vitro culture combined with quantitative TaqMan PCR for the assessment of Toxoplasma gondii tissue cyst viability
Zintl A, Halova D, Mulcahy G, O'Donovan J, Markey B, Dewaal T.
School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Toxoplasma gondii is a serious food-borne pathogen with a worldwide distribution. In order to assess the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis from certain foods, many studies rely on the molecular detection of T. gondii DNA. However, determining the viability of parasites in positive samples is much more problematic. In this paper we describe a novel viability assay that relies on semi-quantitative comparison of the amount of parasite DNA present in samples used to infect host cell monolayers in vitro, and the amount of DNA detected in the same monolayers after 23 days incubation. Our assay is robust, easy to perform and interpret and offers a viable alternative to bioassays, for use in epidemiological studies, or the evaluation of specific food safety treatments.
PMID: 19545946 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]