Article

Veterinary vaccines against Toxoplasma gondii.

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Edinburgh.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Impact Factor: 1.57). 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: Infection with Toxoplasma gondii is acquired through consumption of undercooked infected meat, or by uptake of cat-shed oocysts. Although congenital toxoplasmosis is generally considered to contribute most to the disease burden of T. gondii, ocular disease from acquired infection was recently shown to add substantially. In addition, toxoplasmosis in immune-compromised individuals usually results from reactivation of an infection acquired earlier in life. Nevertheless, prevention of toxoplasmosis commonly targets mainly pregnant women. We summarize current prevention strategies of congenital toxoplasmosis and evaluate options to improve protection of the general population (including pregnant women). To protect the general population, freezing of meat destined for raw or undercooked consumption is the most readily applicable option, especially when limited to meat from animals originating from non-biosecure husbandry systems. In the long term more health benefits are expected from cat vaccination; therefore development of a cat-vaccine and evaluation of its implementation is a research priority.

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