PLoS One. 2014 Feb 27;9(2):e90237. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090237. eCollection 2014.
Overlapping Toxoplasma gondii Genotypes Circulating in Domestic Animals and Humans in Southeastern Brazil
Although several Toxoplasma gondii genotyping studies have been performed in Brazil, studies of isolates from animals in the state of Minas Gerais are rare. The objective of this study was to conduct a genotypic characterization of T. gondii isolates obtained from dogs, free-range chickens, and humans in Minas Gerais and to verify whether the T. gondii genotypes circulating in domestic animals correspond to the genotypes detected in humans. Genetic variability was assessed by restricted fragment length polymorphism at 11 loci (SAG1, 5'+3'SAG2, SAG2 alt, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). Twelve different genotypes were identified among the 24 isolates studied, including 8 previously identified genotypes and 4 new genotypes. The genetic relationship of the 24 T. gondii isolates, together with the genotypes previously described from 24 human newborns with congenital toxoplasmosis, revealed a high degree of similarity among the genotypes circulating in humans and animals in Minas Gerais. The most common genotypes among these species were BrII, BrIII, ToxoDB #108, and ToxoDB #206. Restricted fragment length polymorphism at the CS3 locus of these 48 isolates showed that the majority of isolates presented alleles I (50%) or II (27%). Isolates harboring allele III at the CS3 locus presented low virulence for mice, whereas those harboring alleles I or II presented higher virulence. These results confirm the utility of marker CS3 for predicting the virulence of Brazilian isolates of T. gondii in mice. No association was found between the allele type and clinical manifestations of human congenital toxoplasmosis. This is the first report of T. gondii genotyping that verifies the overlapping genotypes of T. gondii from humans and animals in the same geographic region of Brazil. Our results suggest that there is a common source of infection to the species studied, most likely oocysts contaminating the environment.
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