Wednesday, January 25, 2012

High tissue burden of Toxoplasma gondii is the hallmark of acute virulence in mice

Vet Parasitol. 2012 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]

High tissue burden of Toxoplasma gondii is the hallmark of acute virulence in mice.

Hill RD, Su C.

Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, United States.

Toxoplasma gondii virulence is commonly determined by mortality rate of infected mice. Limited data showed that virulent T. gondii strains had increased parasite growth in mice compared to that of less virulent strains. To determine if this is a common phenomenon for a variety of strains and to develop an alternative assay to test acute virulence in mice, we measured parasite burdens in experimentally infected outbred CD-1 mice for 19 T. gondii isolates, in which the virulence phenotypes had previously been determined by mortality assay. Our results showed that parasite concentrations in spleen tissues were two orders of magnitude higher in the virulent than the intermediately and non-virulent isolates at day 7 post infection. In competition assays, mice inoculated with mixed tachyzoites of virulent and intermediately virulent strains or virulent and non-virulent strains showed that the former always reached a higher concentration at day 7 post infection. In mixed infection of intermediate and non-virulent strains, both strains were detectable in mice at day 7 post infection. In conclusion, our data showed that the virulence of T. gondii can be predicted by parasite load in the spleen tissue of infected mice at 7 days post infection, providing an alternative method to determine virulence of Toxoplasma.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22270034 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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