Thursday, August 27, 2009

Azithromycin Inhibits Vertical Transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in Calomys

Placenta. 2009 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Azithromycin Inhibits Vertical Transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in Calomys callosus (Rodentia: Cricetidae)

Costa IN, Angeloni MB, Santana LA, Barbosa BF, Silva MC, Rodrigues AA, Rostkowsa C, Magalhães PM, Pena JD, Silva DA, Mineo JR, Ferro EA.

Laboratory of Histology and Embriology, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Av. Pará 1720, Bloco 2B, Uberlândia 38405-320, MG, Brazil.

Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy may cause severe consequences to the embryo. Current toxoplasmosis treatment for pregnant women is based on the administration of spiramycin or a drug combination as sulphadiazine-pyrimethamine-folinic acid (SPFA) in cases of confirmed fetal infection. However, these drugs are few tolerated and present many disadvantages due to their toxic effects to the host. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of different treatments on the vertical transmission of T. gondii, including azithromycin, Artemisia annua infusion, spiramycin and SPFA in Calomys callosus as model of congenital toxoplasmosis. C. callosus females were perorally infected with 20 cysts of T. gondii ME49 strain at the day that a vaginal plug was observed (1st day of pregnancy - dop). Treatment with azithromycin, A. annua infusion, and spiramycin started at the 4th dop, while the treatment with SPFA started at the 14th dop. Placenta and embryonic tissues were collected for morphological and immunohistochemical analyses, mouse bioassay and PCR from the 15th to 20th dop. No morphological changes were seen in the placenta and embryonic tissues from females treated with azithromycin, spiramycin and SPFA, but embryonic atrophy was observed in animals treated with A. annua infusion. Parasites were found in the placenta and fetal (brain and liver) tissues of animals treated with SPFA, A. annua infusion and spiramycin, although the number of parasites was lower than in non-treated animals. Parasites were also observed in the placenta of animals treated with azithromycin, but not in their embryos. Bioassay and PCR results confirmed the immunohistochemical data. Also, bradyzoite immunostaining was observed only in placental and fetal tissues of animals treated with SPFA. In conclusion, the treatment with azithromycin showed to be more effective, since it was capable to inhibit the vertical transmission of T. gondii in this model of congenital toxoplasmosis.

PMID: 19703714 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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