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Isolation and genetic characterization of viable Toxoplasma gondii from tissues and feces of cats from the central region of China

Yang, Yurong, Ying, Yuqing, Verma, S.K., Cassinelli, A.B.M., Kwok, O.C.H., Liang, Hongde, Pradhan, A.K., Zhu, X.Q., Su, C., Dubey, J.P.
Veterinary parasitology 2015 v.211 no.3-4 pp. 283-288
DNA, Toxoplasma gondii, agglutination tests, antibodies, cats, cultured cells, definitive hosts, excretion, feces, genotype, loci, mice, oocysts, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, seroprevalence, tachyzoites, tissues, toxoplasmosis, China
Cats are important in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis because they are the only definitive hosts that excrete environmentally resistant Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. Little is known of feline toxoplasmosis in China and most of the literature is in Chinese. Here we summarized all published reports on feline toxoplasmosis in English and report first identification of oocyst excretion by naturally infected cats in China. Unfrozen tissues of 42 cats and feces of 360 cats from China were bioassayed in mice for isolation of T. gondii. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 21 of 42 (50%) of cats by the modified agglutination test (cut-off 1:25). Viable T. gondii was isolated from tissues of eight of 21 seropositive but not from 21 seronegative (<1:25) cats. Viable T. gondii was isolated from feces of one cat. DNA derived from cell cultured tachyzoites of all nine T. gondii isolates was characterized by PCR–RFLP at 10 loci (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). Four genotypes were found; the genotypes of tissue isolates were ToxoDB #9 in six, ToxoDB #2 in one, and ToxoDB #17 in one. The fecal isolate was ToxoDB #1.To our knowledge, the present study is the first isolation of T. gondii from cat feces from China.