3 years ago

Toxoplasma gondii: A STUDY OF OOCYST RE-SHEDDING IN DOMESTIC CATS

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the re-shedding of T. gondii oocysts in cats fed tissue cysts of homologous and heterologous strains 12, 24 and 36 months after the first infection. Thirteen cats were used in the present study and were divided into four groups: G1 (n=2), G2 (n=3), G3 (n=5), and G4 (n=3). G1, G3 and G4 cats were infected with brain cysts of ME49 and G2 with TgDoveBr8, both genotype II strains of T. gondii. The G1 and G2 cats were re-infected after twelve months with brain cysts of VEG strain (genotype III), and G3 cats were re-infected with TgDoveBr1 (genotype II). The G3 cats were re-infected a third time after 24 months from the second infection, and the G4 cats were re-infected 36 months after the initial infection with cysts of the VEG strain. The cats’ feces were evaluated using fecal flotation and genotyped with PCR-RFLP. The serological responses for IgM, IgA and IgG were determined by ELISA. All cats shed oocysts after the initial infection. Only one G1 cat shed oocysts when re-infected after twelve months with the VEG strain. No G2 cats excreted oocysts after the second infection with VEG. G3 cats, when re-infected after twelve months with the TgDoveBr1 strain, did not shed oocysts. However, when challenged after a third time with the VEG strain, three out of four cats shed oocysts. In the G4 group, when re-infected after thirty-six months with the VEG strain, two out of three cats shed oocysts. All oocyst samples were genotyped and characterized as the same genotype from the inoculum. Protection against oocyst re-excretion occurred in 90%, 25%, and 33.4% of cats after 12, 24, and 36 months from the initial infection, respectively. Therefore, the environmental contamination by oocysts from re-infected adult cats is only 30% lower than from kittens. In conclusion, the excretion of T. gondii oocysts was higher in experimentally re-infected cats throughout the years, especially when a heterologous strain was used.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0304401717304685

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