ResearchPad - toxoplasmosis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Spatial serosurvey of anti-<i>Toxoplasma gondii</i> antibodies in individuals with animal hoarding disorder and their dogs in Southern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14734 Despite vulnerability and unsanitary conditions of animal hoarding may predispose environmental contamination and spread of vectors and pathogens, no study to date has focused on their impact on public health and zoonotic diseases. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and associated factors in individuals with animal hoarding disorder (AHD) and their dogs in Curitiba, Southern Brazil. Blood samples were obtained from 264 dogs (21 households) and 19 individuals with AHD (11 households). Their blood was tested by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Overall, anti-Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity was found in 21/264 dogs (7.95%; 95% CI: 4.69–11.22) with titers ranging from 16 to 4096, and in 7/19 individuals with AHD (36.84%; CI: 15.15–58.53) with titers ranging from 16 to 64. Serological analysis for anti-T. gondii antibodies were considered positive in at least one individual or dog in 9/11 (81.82%; 95% CI: 59.03–100.00) cases that were thoroughly assessed. Surprisingly, the seropositivity of individuals with AHD and their dogs was among the lowest reportedly observed in human and dog populations of Brazil. There was no significant association between positive owners and positive dogs or the presence of cats in the household. Regard epidemiological variables, a significant association was found between dog’s seropositivity and the type of dog food. To the authors’ knowledge, the present study represents the first investigation of T. gondii seroprevalence in individuals with hoarding disorder and their dogs. In conclusion, despite low sanitary conditions, anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies frequency in individuals with AHD and their dogs are lower than the general population likely due to low protozoan load in such isolated households.

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<![CDATA[Acute Toxoplasmosis among Canadian Deer Hunters Associated with Consumption of Undercooked Deer Meat Hunted in the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Naf73745d-2528-477b-a50b-550b3cac0f7e

Health professionals should be aware that such outbreaks might be more common in the future

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<![CDATA[Toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis: The influence of age, number of retinochoroidal lesions and genetic polymorphism for IFN-γ +874 T/A as risk factors for recurrence in a survival analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c756dd5eed0c4843cfd80

Purpose

To analyze risk factors for recurrent toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis.

Design

Single center prospective case series.

Population and Methods

A total of 230 patients with toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis were prospectively followed to assess recurrences. All patients were treated with a specific drug regime for toxoplasmosis in each episode of active retinochoroiditis. Individuals with chronic diseases and pregnant women were excluded. Survival analysis by extended Cox regression model (Prentice-Williams-Peterson counting process model) was performed to evaluate the time between recurrences according to some potential risk factors: age, number of retinochoroidal lesions at initial evaluation, sex and interferon gamma +874 T/A gene polymorphism. Hazard Ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were provided to interpret the risk effects.

Results

One hundred sixty-two recurrence episodes were observed in 104 (45.2%) patients during follow-up that lasted from 269 to 1976 days. Mean age at presentation was 32.8 years (Standard deviation = 11.38). The risk of recurrence during follow up was influenced by age (HR = 1.02, 95% CI = 1.01–1.04) and number of retinochoroidal lesions at the beginning of the study (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.07–2.40). Heterozygosis for IFN-γ gene polymorphism at position +874 T/A was also associated with recurrence (HR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.04–2.14).

Conclusion

The risk of ocular toxoplasmosis recurrence after an active episode increased with age and was significantly higher in individuals with primary lesions, which suggests that individuals with this characteristic and the elderly could benefit from recurrence prophylactic strategies with antimicrobials. Results suggest an association between IFN-γ gene polymorphism at position +874T/A and recurrence.

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<![CDATA[Socioeconomic vulnerability associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure in southern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bed5eed0c48467a799

Human toxoplasmosis, a protozoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii, has been described as a worldwide foodborne disease with important public health impact. Despite infection has reportedly varied due to differences in alimentary, cultural and hygienic habits and geographic region, social vulnerability influence on toxoplasmosis distribution remains to be fully established. Accordingly, the present study has aimed to assess T. gondii seroprevalence and factors associated to social vulnerability for infection in households of Ivaiporã, southern Brazil, with 33.6% population making half minimum wage or less, ranked 1,055th in population (31,816 habitants), 1,406th in per capita income (U$ 211.80 per month) and 1,021st in HDI (0.764) out of 5,570 Brazilian cities. Serum samples and epidemiological questionnaires were obtained from citizen volunteers with official City Secretary of Health assistance in 2015 and 2016. In overall, serosurvey has revealed 526/715 (73.57%) positive samples for anti-T. gondii antibodies by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test. Logistic regression has shown a significant increase associated to adults (p = 0.021) and elderly (p = 0.014) people, illiterates (p = 0.025), unemployment (p <0.001) and lack of household water tank (p = 0.039). On the other hand, sex (male or female), living area (urban or rural), yard hygiene, meat ingestion, sand or land contact, owning pets (dog, cat or both) were not significant variables of positivity for anti-T. gondii antibodies in the surveyed population. Although no significant spatial cluster was found, high intensity areas of seropositive individuals were located in the Kernel map where the suburban neighborhoods are located. In conclusion, socioeconomic vulnerability determinants may be associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure. The increased risk due to illiteracy, adult or elderly age, unemployment and lack of household water tank were confirmed by multivariate analysis and the influence of low family income for seropositivity by the spatial analysis.

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<![CDATA[Rapid, inexpensive, fingerstick, whole-blood, sensitive, specific, point-of-care test for anti-Toxoplasma antibodies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8b29e440307c405292ca53 ]]> <![CDATA[First Colombian Multicentric Newborn Screening for Congenital Toxoplasmosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db37ab0ee8fa60bd3744

Aims

To determine the incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis in Colombian newborns from 19 hospital or maternal child health services from seven different cities of five natural geographic regions (Caribbean, Central, Andean, Amazonia and Eastern).

Materials and Methods

We collected 15,333 samples from umbilical cord blood between the period of March 2009 to May 2010 in 19 different hospitals and maternal-child health services from seven different cities. We applied an IgM ELISA assay (Vircell, Spain) to determine the frequency of IgM anti Toxoplasma. The results in blood cord samples were confirmed either by western blot and repeated ELISA IgM assay. In a sub-sample of 1,613 children that were negative by the anti-Toxoplasma IgM assay, the frequency of specific anti-Toxoplasma IgA by the ISAGA assay was determined. All children with positive samples by IgM, IgA, clinical diagnosis or treatment during pregnancy were recalled for confirmatory tests after day 10 of life.

Results

61 positive samples for specific IgM (0.39%) and 9 positives for IgA (0.5%) were found. 143 questionnaires were positive for a clinical diagnosis or treatment for toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. 109 out of the 218 children that had some of the criteria for postnatal confirmatory tests were followed. Congenital toxoplasmosis infection was confirmed in 15 children: 7 were symptomatic, and three of them died before the first month of life (20% of lethality). A significant correlation was found between a high incidence of markers for congenital toxoplasmosis and higher mean annual rainfall for the city.

Conclusions

Incidence for congenital toxoplasmosis is significantly different between hospitals or maternal child health services from different cities in Colombia. Mean annual rainfall was correlated with incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis.

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<![CDATA[BCKDH: The Missing Link in Apicomplexan Mitochondrial Metabolism Is Required for Full Virulence of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db21ab0ee8fa60bcf693

While the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are thought to primarily depend on glycolysis for ATP synthesis, recent studies have shown that they can fully catabolize glucose in a canonical TCA cycle. However, these parasites lack a mitochondrial isoform of pyruvate dehydrogenase and the identity of the enzyme that catalyses the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA remains enigmatic. Here we demonstrate that the mitochondrial branched chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH) complex is the missing link, functionally replacing mitochondrial PDH in both T. gondii and P. berghei. Deletion of the E1a subunit of T. gondii and P. berghei BCKDH significantly impacted on intracellular growth and virulence of both parasites. Interestingly, disruption of the P. berghei E1a restricted parasite development to reticulocytes only and completely prevented maturation of oocysts during mosquito transmission. Overall this study highlights the importance of the molecular adaptation of BCKDH in this important class of pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Extracts from Thai Piperaceae Plants against Infection with Toxoplasma gondii]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb061c

Herbal medicines and natural herb extracts are widely used as alternative treatments for various parasitic diseases, and such extracts may also have potential to decrease the side effects of the standard regimen drugs used to treat toxoplasmosis (sulfadiazine-pyrimethamine combination). We evaluated how effective the Thai piperaceae plants Piper betle, P. nigrum and P. sarmentosum are against Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro and in vivo. Individually, we extracted the piperaceae plants with ethanol, passed them through a rotary evaporator and then lyophilized them to obtain crude extracts for each one. The in vitro study indicated that the P. betle extract was the most effective extract at inhibiting parasite growth in HFF cells (IC50 on RH-GFP: 23.2 μg/mL, IC50 on PLK-GFP: 21.4 μg/mL). Furthermore, treatment of experimental mice with the P. betle extract for 7 days after infection with 1,000 tachyzoites of the T. gondii PLK strain increased their survival (survival rates: 100% in 400 mg/kg-treated, 83.3% in 100 mg/kg-treated, 33.3% in 25 mg/kg-treated, 33.3% in untreated mice). Furthermore, treatment with 400 mg/kg of the P. betle extract resulted in 100% mouse survival following infection with 100,000 tachyzoites. The present study shows that P. betle extract has the potential to act as a medical plant for the treatment of toxoplasmosis.

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<![CDATA[Contrasting Effect of Prepulse Signals on Performance of Toxoplasma-Infected and Toxoplasma-Free Subjects in an Acoustic Reaction Times Test]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db23ab0ee8fa60bcfa91

Background

About 30% of people on Earth have latent toxoplasmosis. Infected subjects do not express any clinical symptoms, however, they carry dormant stages of parasite Toxoplasma for the rest of their life. This form of toxoplasmosis is mostly considered harmless, however, recent studies showed its specific effects on physiology, behaviour and its associations with various diseases, including psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia have about 2.7 times higher prevalence of Toxoplasma-seropositivity than controls, which suggests that some traits characteristic of schizophrenic patients, including the sex difference in schizophrenia onset, decrease of grey matter density in specific brain areas and modification of prepulse inhibition of startle reaction could in fact be caused by toxoplasmosis for those patients who are Toxoplasma-seropositive.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We measured the effect of prepulse inhibition/facilitation of the startle reaction on reaction times. The students, 170 women and 66 men, were asked to react as quickly as possible to a startling acoustic signal by pressing a computer mouse button. Some of the startling signals were without the prepulse, some were 20 msec. preceded by a short (20 msec.) prepulse signal of lower intensity. Toxoplasma-seropositive subjects had longer reaction times than the controls. Acoustic prepulse shorted the reaction times in all subjects. This effect of prepulse on reaction times was stronger in male subjects and increased with the duration of infection, suggesting that it represented a cumulative effect of latent toxoplasmosis, rather than a fading out after effect of past acute toxoplasmosis.

Conclusions

Different sensitivity of Toxoplasma-seropositive and Toxoplasma-seronegative subjects on effect of prepulses on reaction times (the toxoplasmosis-prepulse interaction) suggested, but of course did not prove, that the alternations of prepulse inhibition of startle reaction observed in schizophrenia patients probably joined the list of schizophrenia symptoms that are in fact caused by latent toxoplasmosis.

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<![CDATA[Interferon-γ Restricts Toxoplasma gondii Development in Murine Skeletal Muscle Cells via Nitric Oxide Production and Immunity-Related GTPases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba86e5

The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is regularly transmitted to humans via the ingestion of contaminated meat products from chronically infected livestock. This route of transmission requires intracellular development and long-term survival of the parasite within muscle tissue. In this study, we determined the cell-autonomous immunity of mature primary embryonic or C2C12 skeletal muscle cells (SkMCs) to infection with T. gondii. Non-activated SkMCs and control fibroblasts sustained parasite replication; however, interferon (IFN)-γ significantly inhibited parasite growth in SkMCs but not in fibroblasts. Intracellular parasite replication was diminished by IFN-γ whereas host cell invasion was not affected. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) did not further increase the IFN-γ-triggered host defense of SkMCs against Toxoplasma. Remarkably, IFN-γ alone or in combination with TNF decreased the high level of T. gondii bradyzoite formation being observed in non-activated SkMCs. Stimulation of SkMCs with IFN-γ strongly triggered expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) transcripts, and induced significantly higher levels of nitric oxide (NO) in SkMCs than in fibroblasts. Consequently, pharmacological inhibition of iNOS partially abrogated the IFN-γ-induced toxoplasmacidal activity of SkMCs. In addition, SkMCs strongly up-regulated immunity-regulated GTPases (IRGs) following stimulation with IFN-γ. IRGs accumulated on Toxoplasma-containing vacuoles in SkMCs in a parasite strain-dependent manner. Subsequent vacuole disruption and signs of degenerating parasites were regularly recognized in IFN-γ-treated SkMCs infected with type II parasites. Together, murine SkMCs exert potent toxoplasmacidal activity after stimulation with IFN-γ and have to be considered active participants in the local immune response against Toxoplasma in skeletal muscle.

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<![CDATA[Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac3d8

Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host.

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<![CDATA[Rhesus Factor Modulation of Effects of Smoking and Age on Psychomotor Performance, Intelligence, Personality Profile, and Health in Czech Soldiers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8cd1

Background

Rhesus-positive and rhesus-negative persons differ in the presence-absence of highly immunogenic RhD protein on the erythrocyte membrane. This protein is a component of NH3 or CO2 pump whose physiological role is unknown. Several recent studies have shown that RhD positivity protects against effects of latent toxoplasmosis on motor performance and personality. It is not known, however, whether the RhD phenotype modifies exclusively the response of the body to toxoplasmosis or whether it also influences effects of other factors.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In the present cohort study, we searched for the effects of age and smoking on performance, intelligence, personality and self-estimated health and wellness in about 3800 draftees. We found that the positive effect of age on performance and intelligence was stronger in RhD-positive soldiers, while the negative effect of smoking on performance and intelligence was of similar size regardless of the RhD phenotype. The effect of age on four Cattell's personality factors, i.e., dominance (E), radicalism (Q1), self-sentiment integration (Q3), and ergic tension (Q4), and on Cloninger's factor reward dependency (RD) was stronger for RhD-negative than RhD-positive subjects, while the effect of smoking on the number of viral and bacterial diseases was about three times stronger for RhD-negative than RhD-positive subjects.

Conclusions

RhD phenotype modulates the influence not only of latent toxoplasmosis, but also of at least two other potentially detrimental factors, age and smoking, on human behavior and physiology. The negative effect of smoking on health (estimated on the basis of the self-rated number of common viral and bacterial diseases in the past year) was much stronger in RhD-negative than RhD-positive subjects. It is critically needed to confirm the differences in health response to smoking between RhD-positive and RhD-negative subjects by objective medical examination in future studies.

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<![CDATA[Chitinase Dependent Control of Protozoan Cyst Burden in the Brain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b808d9

Chronic infections represent a continuous battle between the host's immune system and pathogen replication. Many protozoan parasites have evolved a cyst lifecycle stage that provides it with increased protection from environmental degradation as well as endogenous host mechanisms of attack. In the case of Toxoplasma gondii, these cysts are predominantly found in the immune protected brain making clearance of the parasite more difficult and resulting in a lifelong infection. Currently, little is known about the nature of the immune response stimulated by the presence of these cysts or how they are able to propagate. Here we establish a novel chitinase-dependent mechanism of cyst control in the infected brain. Despite a dominant Th1 immune response during Toxoplasma infection there exists a population of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMØ) in the infected CNS. These cells are capable of cyst lysis via the production of AMCase as revealed by live imaging, and this chitinase is necessary for protective immunity within the CNS. These data demonstrate chitinase activity in the brain in response to a protozoan pathogen and provide a novel mechanism to facilitate cyst clearance during chronic infections.

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<![CDATA[Targeted Disruption of TgPhIL1 in Toxoplasma gondii Results in Altered Parasite Morphology and Fitness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbf95b

The inner membrane complex (IMC), a series of flattened vesicles at the periphery of apicomplexan parasites, is thought to be important for parasite shape, motility and replication, but few of the IMC proteins that function in these processes have been identified. TgPhIL1, a Toxoplasma gondii protein that was previously identified through photosensitized labeling with 5-[125I] iodonapthaline-1-azide, associates with the IMC and/or underlying cytoskeleton and is concentrated at the apical end of the parasite. Orthologs of TgPhIL1 are found in other apicomplexans, but the function of this conserved protein family is unknown. As a first step towards determining the function of TgPhIL1 and its orthologs, we generated a T. gondii parasite line in which the single copy of TgPhIL1 was disrupted by homologous recombination. The TgPhIL1 knockout parasites have a distinctly different morphology than wild-type parasites, and normal shape is restored in the knockout background after complementation with the wild-type allele. The knockout parasites are outcompeted in culture by parasites expressing functional TgPhIL1, and they generate a reduced parasite load in the spleen and liver of infected mice. These findings demonstrate a role for TgPhIL1 in the morphology, growth and fitness of T. gondii tachyzoites.

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<![CDATA[Acute Lung, Heart, Liver, and Pancreatic Involvements with Hyponatremia and Retinochoroiditis in a 33-Year-Old French Guianan Patient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b754b4 ]]> <![CDATA[Diagnostic Value of a Rec-ELISA Using Toxoplasma gondii Recombinant SporoSAG, BAG1, and GRA1 Proteins in Murine Models Infected Orally with Tissue Cysts and Oocysts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da73ab0ee8fa60b957dd

Toxoplasma gondii causes congenital toxoplasmosis in newborns resulting with fetal anomalies. Determining the initiation time of infection is very important for pregnant women and current serological assays have drawbacks in distinguishing the recently acute toxoplasmosis. Diagnosis of recently acute infection may be improved by using stage specific antigens in serological assays. In the present study, the diagnostic value of sporozoite specific SporoSAG, bradyzoite specific BAG1 proteins and GRA1 protein expressed by all forms of the parasite have been evaluated ELISA using sera systematically collected from mice administered orally with tissue cyst and oocysts. The anti-SporoSAG IgM antibodies in sera obtained from mice infected with oocysts peaked significantly at days 1, 10, and 15 (P<0.01). The anti-BAG1 IgM antibodies in sera obtained from mice infected with tissue cysts peaked significantly at days 15, 40, and 120 (P<0.05). The anti-GRA1 IgM antibodies in sera obtained from mice infected with oocysts peaked significantly at days 2, 10, and 40 (P<0.01). The anti-GRA1 IgM antibodies in sera obtained from mice infected with tissue cysts peaked significantly only at day 40 (P<0.05). The anti-SporoSAG, anti-BAG1, and anti-GRA1 IgG titers of mice showed significant increases at day 40 (P<0.05) and decrement started for only anti-GRA1 IgG at day 120. The presence of anti-SporoSAG IgM and IgG antibodies can be interpreted as recently acute infection between days 10–40 because IgM decreases at day 40. Similarly, presence of anti-BAG1 IgM and absence of IgG can be evaluated as a recently acute infection that occurred 40 days before because IgG peaks at day 40. A peak in anti-GRA1 antibody level at first testing and reduction in consecutive sample can be considered as an infection approximately around day 40 or prior. Overall, recombinant SporoSAG, BAG1 and GRA1 proteins can be accepted as valuable diagnostic markers of recently acute toxoplasmosis.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii Isolates and Toxoplasmosis Seroprevalence in Stray Cats of İzmir, Turkey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da58ab0ee8fa60b8f650

Currently, some Toxoplasma gondii genotypes are being associated with serious clinical presentations. A recent report showing the Africa 1 genotype in two local congenital toxoplasmosis cases acquired in Turkey formed the basis of this study because atypical Africa 1 genotype is most frequently detected in animals and patients from sub-Saharan Africa. Since stray cats are considered as the linkage between wild life and urban life in T. gondii transmission, the present study aimed to isolate and characterize T. gondii strains circulating in stray cats of İzmir (Western Turkey). A secondary objective was to determine toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in this cat population. Tissues obtained from 100 deceased stray cats were bioassayed and isolated strains were genotyped using 15 microsatellite markers. In addition, toxoplasmosis seroprevalence was analyzed in 1121 cat sera collected from several large veterinary clinics in İzmir. Among the 22 isolates, 19 were Type II (86.3%), two were Type III (9%) and one was Africa 1 genotype (4.5%). The overall seropositivity rates in cats were 42–48% and 33.4–34.4% according to IFA and ELISA, respectively. Seroprevalence in deceased cats was significantly higher than in healthy cats (P = 0.0033). Finding both the major clonal Type II lineage together with the Type III lineage also found in Middle East, and an atypical genotype, Africa 1 appears consistent with the specific geographic location of Turkey between three continents and raises the possibility of transportation of these strains between continents through trade routes or long distance migratory birds. In addition, the first large study of toxoplasma seroprevalence in a stray cat population was also reported. The relatively high seropositivity rates and the variety of T. gondii genotypes confirm the local stray cat population as a risk factor for human toxoplasmosis in İzmir.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of GBP Recruitment to Toxoplasma gondii Vacuoles and the Parasitic Factors That Control It]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e9ab0ee8fa60b6c39a

IFN-γ is a major cytokine that mediates resistance against the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The p65 guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) are strongly induced by IFN-γ. We studied the behavior of murine GBP1 (mGBP1) upon infection with T. gondii in vitro and confirmed that IFN-γ-dependent re-localization of mGBP1 to the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) correlates with the virulence type of the parasite. We identified three parasitic factors, ROP16, ROP18, and GRA15 that determine strain-specific accumulation of mGBP1 on the PV. These highly polymorphic proteins are held responsible for a large part of the strain-specific differences in virulence. Therefore, our data suggest that virulence of T. gondii in animals may rely in part on recognition by GBPs. However, phagosomes or vacuoles containing Trypanosoma cruzi did not recruit mGBP1. Co-immunoprecipitation revealed mGBP2, mGBP4, and mGBP5 as binding partners of mGBP1. Indeed, mGBP2 and mGBP5 co-localize with mGBP1 in T. gondii-infected cells. T. gondii thus elicits a cell-autonomous immune response in mice with GBPs involved. Three parasitic virulence factors and unknown IFN-γ-dependent host factors regulate this complex process. Depending on the virulence of the strains involved, numerous GBPs are brought to the PV as part of a large, multimeric structure to combat T. gondii.

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<![CDATA[Seropositivity and Risk Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Wild Birds from Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b93658

Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n = 610), Strigiformes (n = 260), Ciconiiformes (n = 156), Gruiformes (n = 21), and other orders (n = 32), from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1∶25) were found in 282 (26.1%, IC95%:23.5–28.7) of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), long-eared owl (Asio otus), common scops owl (Otus scops), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus); in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) “vulnerable” Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and great bustard (Otis tarda); and in the IUCN “near threatened” red kite (Milvus milvus). The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) (68.1%, 98 of 144). The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is widespread and can be at a high level in many wild birds in Spain, most likely related to their feeding behaviour.

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<![CDATA[The disease burden of congenital toxoplasmosis in Denmark, 2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be00b7

Background

Congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) causes a substantial disease burden worldwide. The aim of this study was to estimate the disease burden of CT in Denmark, a developed country with free public healthcare and nationwide data available.

Methods

Using data primarily from two public health surveillance programmes conducted between 1992 and 2007, we estimated the incidence, occurrence of sequelae, mortality and the burden of disease in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) of CT in Denmark in 2014.

Findings

We estimated that 14 children were born with CT in 2014, of which six will have developed sequelae by the age of 12. CT resulted in a total disease burden of 123 DALYs (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 100–148), of which 78 (95% UI, 64–94) were due to foetal loss and 2 (95% UI, 1–3) were due to neonatal death; the remaining burden was due to moderate to severe life-long sequelae. A comparison of the estimated incidence of CT with the number of reported CT cases in 2008–2014 indicated that for each reported CT case, at least five other CT cases could be expected to have occurred and gone unreported.

Interpretation

Early onset, severity, and life-long duration of sequelae have a major effect on the disease burden of CT. Our data suggest that CT is under-diagnosed or under-reported in Denmark. The estimated disease burden and public health impact in Denmark is lower than in other European countries, highlighting the need for country-specific studies.

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