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Toxoplasma gondii infection in Amami spiny rat on Amami-Oshima Island, Japan

Tokiwa, Toshihiro, Yoshimura, Hisashi, Hiruma, Sayoko, Akahori, Yukie, Suzuki, Ayami, Ito, Keiko, Yamamoto, Masami, Ike, Kazunori
International journal for parasitology 2019 v.9 pp. 244-247
DNA, Tokudaia osimensis, Toxoplasma gondii, adults, coasts, forests, genes, heart, histopathology, liver, liver diseases, lungs, males, polymerase chain reaction, protozoal infections, rats, sequence analysis, Japan
The Amami spiny rat (Tokudaia osimensis) is an endangered rodent species that is endemic to the forests of Amami-Oshima Island, Kagoshima, Japan. In July 2018, a deceased adult male Amami spiny rat was found on the Yuwandake Mountain Trail on the south-central coast of Amami-Oshima Island. Histopathological observations revealed protozoan infections in the liver, lungs, and heart. Nested or semi-nested PCRs targeting the B1, SAG3, GRA6, and ROP18 genes successfully detected the genomic DNA of Toxoplasma gondii in the formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimen. Sequence analyses of the SAG3, GRA6, and ROP18 genes suggested that the strain detected in the study specimen was related to the type II strain of T. gondii. This is the first confirmed case of T. gondii infection in an Amami spiny rat.