Document details for 'Comparative virulence of Caribbean, Brazilian and European isolates of Toxoplasma gondii '

Authors Hamilton, C.M., Black, L.E., Oliveira, S., Burrells, A., Bartley, P.M., Melo, R.P.B., Chianini, F., Palarea Albaladejo, J., Innes, E.A., Kelly, P.J. and Katzer, F.
Publication details Parasites and Vectors 12(2019), 104. BMC.
Publisher details BMC
Keywords Toxoplasma gondii, Virulence, Genotyping, Isolates, Caribbean, Brazil, Europe
Abstract Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite of global importance. The outcome of infection in humans can depend on a number of factors including the infecting stage of the parasite, inoculating dose and virulence of the infecting strain. Molecular epidemiological studies have demonstrated an abundance of atypical strains of T. gondii in South America, many of which have been associated with more severe sequelae of infection. The aim of this study was to compare the virulence of T. gondii strains isolated in the Caribbean to a virulent Brazilian strain and an avirulent European strain. Methods: One hundred and twenty Swiss CD‐1 mice were split into 8 groups of 15 mice and each group was inoculated with 200 tachyzoites of one of 8 isolates, comprising ToxoDB genotypes #1, #141, #265, #13, #3 and #6. Five mice per group were euthanized at day 8 post‐inoculation (p.i.) and parasite burden was determined in heart, lungs and eyes using quantitative PCR. Lungs and brain were also examined by histopathology and immunohistochemistry. The remaining 10 mice per group were part of a survival experiment to assess virulence. DNA was extracted from tachyzoites of each of the 8 T. gondii isolates and genotyped at four ROP gene loci, including ROP5, ROP16, ROP17 and ROP18 to look for association with markers of virulence. Results: Infection with ToxoDB genotype #13 from the Caribbean resulted in 100% of mice being euthanized which was comparative to infection with the virulent Brazilian strain (ToxoDB genotype #6). Significantly higher parasite bur‐ dens were recorded in the lungs and eyes of mice infected with ToxoDB genotypes #13 and #6. Genotyping of ROP loci revealed that the virulent Caribbean isolates had a different ROP18/ROP5 allelic profile (3/1) to the virulent Brazil‐ ian isolate (1/3); however, the avirulent Caribbean isolate (ToxoDB genotype #1) had the same ROP18/ROP5 profile as the avirulent European isolate (ToxoDB #3) (both 2/2). Caribbean isolates of intermediate virulence (ToxoDB #141 and #265) all had the same ROP18/ROP5 allelic profile (2/2). Conclusions: Isolates from the Caribbean with ToxoDB genotype #13 were acutely virulent for mice and comparable to a known virulent Brazilian isolate. The ROP protein allelic profile of the virulent Caribbean and Brazilian isolates dif‐ fered indicating that perhaps other factors are involved in predicting virulence. Understanding virulence is important for predicting disease outcome in humans and may also aid vaccine design as well as drug discovery.
Last updated 2019-03-15

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