Veterinary vaccines against Toxoplasma gondii.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Edinburgh.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Impact Factor: 1.36). 04/2009; 104(2):246-51. DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02762009000200018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii has a very wide intermediate host range and is thought to be able to infect all warm blooded animals. The parasite causes a spectrum of different diseases and clinical symptoms within the intermediate hosts and following infection most animals develop adaptive humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. The development of protective immunity to T. gondii following natural infection in many host species has led researchers to look at vaccination as a strategy to control disease, parasite multiplication and establishment in animal hosts. A range of different veterinary vaccines are required to help control T. gondii infection which include vaccines to prevent congenital toxoplasmosis, reduce or eliminate tissue cysts in meat producing animals and to prevent oocyst shedding in cats. In this paper we will discuss some of the history, challenges and progress in the development of veterinary vaccines against T. gondii.

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    ABSTRACT: Even though infected sheep are a potential source of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans, information is lacking concerning the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep in Belgium. We examined 3170 serum samples for anti-Toxoplasma IgG in sheep by total lysate antigen (TLA) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). IgG to T. gondii was demonstrated in 87.4% of the tested sheep and in 96.2% of the 209 tested flocks. The seroprevalences in Antwerp (65.2%) and Wallonia (68.6%) are statistically lower than in the other regions in Belgium (96.7-97.8%) (P<0.05). The present study is the first report that analyzed the prevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep in Belgium and confirms the high prevalence of Toxoplasma-specific IgG antibodies in the sheep population.
    Veterinary Parasitology 07/2014; 205(1-2):57-61. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High numbers of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in the environment are a risk factor to humans. The environmental contamination might be reduced by vaccinating the definitive host, cats. An experimental challenge model is necessary to quantitatively assess the efficacy of a vaccine or drug treatment. Previous studies have indicated that bradyzoites are highly infectious for cats. To infect cats, tissue cysts were isolated from the brains of mice infected with oocysts of T. gondii M4 strain, and bradyzoites were released by pepsin digestion. Free bradyzoites were counted and graded doses (1000, 100, 50, 10), and 250 intact tissue cysts were inoculated orally into three cats each. Oocysts shed by these five groups of cats were collected from faeces by flotation techniques, counted microscopically and estimated by real time PCR. Additionally, the number of T. gondii in heart, tongue and brains were estimated, and serology for anti T. gondii antibodies was performed. A Beta-Poisson dose-response model was used to estimate the infectivity of single bradyzoites and linear regression was used to determine the relation between inoculated dose and numbers of oocyst shed. We found that real time PCR was more sensitive than microscopic detection of oocysts, and oocysts were detected by PCR in faeces of cats fed 10 bradyzoites but by microscopic examination. Real time PCR may only detect fragments of T. gondii DNA without the presence of oocysts in low doses. Prevalence of tissue cysts of T. gondii in tongue, heart and brains, and anti T. gondii antibody concentrations were all found to depend on the inoculated bradyzoite dose. The combination of the experimental challenge model and the dose response analysis provides a suitable reference for quantifying the potential reduction in human health risk due to a treatment of domestic cats by vaccination or by therapeutic drug application.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e104740. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background In many countries, Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a major cause of reproductive disorders and abortions in the sheep industry, and therefore responsible for important financial and economic losses. In addition, undercooked infected lamb is an important risk factor for human toxoplasmosis. In the present study, the initial phase of the infection was investigated: the parasite’s entry site, the subsequent distribution of the parasite and the host-immune response. Results Parasite DNA was already detected in the cranial small intestinal mucosa the first days after oral infection with T. gondii tissue cysts. Simultaneously, high IFN-gamma and IL-12 responses were induced mainly in the mesenteric lymph nodes. The emergence of IgG1 (at 8 dpi), and IgG2 (at 11 dpi) was accompanied by a decrease or even disappearance of the IFN-gamma and IL-12 response in the Peyers’ patches (PP), PBMC’s and popliteal LN’s. Meanwhile the parasite DNA could be recovered from most mucosal and systemic tissues to become undetectable in the small intestine, popliteal LN, PBMC and spleen 3 weeks pi. Conclusions Our results indicate that parasites enter the cranial small intestine the first days after infection and that after an increase the first two weeks after infection, the parasite DNA levels in the intestine drop below the detection limit three weeks after infection. This coincides with an increase in parastic-specific serum IgG1 and IgG2 and a decrease of the antigen-specific IFNgamma response in PP, PBMC and popliteal LN. We suggest a role for IFN-gamma and IL- 12 in controlling the infection.
    BMC Veterinary Research 12/2014; 10:293. · 1.86 Impact Factor


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