Atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain from a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana.
ABSTRACT Like domestic cats, wild felids are involved in the complete infective cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they can host in their gastrointestinal tract sexually mature parasites and shed infective oocysts in their feces. We report, to our knowledge, the first isolation and molecular characterization of a T. gondii strain from the heart tissue of a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana. Sequencing at six polymorphic markers indicated that the jaguar isolate had an atypical genotype, including an allele at TgM-A previously found only in isolates from South America, and an allele at GRA6, which was previously reported only in Californian sea otter isolates. These findings are consistent with the recent description of atypical T. gondii strains involved in severe toxoplasmoses in immunocompetent patients in French Guiana that seemed to be linked to a neotropical forest-based cycle involving wild cats and their prey.
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ABSTRACT: From 1998 through 2006, 44 cases of severe primary toxoplasmosis were observed in French Guiana in immunocompetent adults. Toxoplasma gondii isolates exhibited an atypical multilocus genotype. Severe disease in humans may result from poor host adaptation to neotropical zoonotic strains of T. gondii circulating in a forest-based cycle.Emerging Infectious Diseases 05/2009; 15(4):656-8. · 6.79 Impact Factor