Toxoplasmosis in captive Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) in Argentina.
ABSTRACT Wallabies and other Australian marsupials are among the most susceptible species to Toxoplasma gondii. Fatal generalized toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in two captive 3 year-old female Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) from Argentina (w 1 and w 2) with a history of sudden death. Both animals had internal joeys which died 2 days after their mothers. Serologically, both females and one adult male without clinical signs from the same enclosure (w 3) had antibody titers for T. gondii>or=800 by the modified agglutination test (MAT); another adult male (w 4) was negative (MAT titer<25). Microscopically, tachyzoites were observed associated to non-suppurative meningoencephalitis, hepatitis, myositis, myocarditis and severe enteritis in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections from both w 1 and w 2. Immunohistochemically, parasites in heart, brain and liver sections of both female wallabies reacted with T. gondii antiserum. T. gondii was isolated from brain tissues of w 1 and w 2 by bioassay in mice and by culture in bovine monocytes and both isolates were cryopreserved. Genomic DNA was isolated from tachyzoites grown in cultures derived from both animals. The primer pair B22/B23 specific for T. gondii produced 115bp amplicons on poliacrylamide electrophoretic gels. Stray cats were suspected as the possible source of infection. Not all infected macropods were ill, showing that the infection may be asymptomatic and is not always fatal. A vertical infection could not be proved in the joey from w 2. As far as we know, this is the first confirmed report of toxoplasmosis in Bennet's wallabies in Argentina.
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ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii infection is frequently asymptomatic; however, it can be severe or even fatal to some hosts. In this study, diagnosis of disseminated toxoplasmosis in one red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and one great grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) from the La Plata Zoo, Argentina and the isolation and molecular characterization of T. gondii are reported. Both male kangaroos showed depression and sudden death. Toxoplasma gondii infection was diagnosed by fresh examination, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, PCR and bioassay in mice. During fresh examination many protozoan cysts were observed in diaphragm, heart and hind limb muscles of M. rufus. Cysts were also observed in samples from M. giganteus, although in lower number. Cysts from both kangaroos stained strongly with T. gondii anti-serum by immunohistochemistry. The M. rufus showed more considerable histopathological lesions like non-suppurative meningoencephalitis, myositis and myocarditis. All mice inoculated with tissues from both kangaroos developed IFAT titers to T. gondii (titer >or=800) and brain cysts at necropsy. Both T. gondii isolates were maintained by mice passages and the M. rufus isolate was also maintained in cell culture. Toxoplasma gondii DNA from tissue samples was analyzed by PCR-RFLP analysis using the markers 5'SAG2, 3'SAG2, BTUB, GRA6, SAG3, c22-8, L358, PK1, c29-2 and Apico. Genotyping revealed that the T. gondii isolate from M. rufus was clonal type III and the isolate from M. giganteus was clonal type II. This is the first report of disseminated toxoplasmosis in M. rufus and M. giganteus in Argentina caused by genotypes of T. gondii considered non-virulent in a mouse model.Veterinary Parasitology 04/2010; 169(1-2):57-61. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic protozoal parasite, is well-known for its global distribution and its ability to infect virtually all warm-blooded vertebrates. Nonetheless, attempts to describe the population structure of T. gondii have been primarily limited to samples isolated from humans and domesticated animals. More recent studies, however, have made efforts to characterize T. gondii isolates from a wider range of host species and geographic locales. These findings have dramatically changed our perception of the extent of genetic diversity in T. gondii and the relative roles of sexual recombination and clonal propagation in the parasite's lifecycle. In particular, identification of novel, disease-causing T. gondii strains in wildlife has raised concerns from both a conservation and public health perspective as to whether distinct domestic and sylvatic parasite gene pools exist. If so, overlap of these cycles may represent regions of high probability of disease emergence. Here, we attempt to answer these key questions by reviewing recent studies of T. gondii infections in wildlife, highlighting those which have advanced our understanding of the genetic diversity and population biology of this important zoonotic pathogen.Veterinary Parasitology 07/2011; 182(1):96-111. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Toxoplasmosis is often fatal in captive wallabies, but the causes of this high susceptibility are not well understood. Here, we report fatal toxoplasmosis in a Bennet's wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) due to an atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain for the first time in Europe. The wallaby was from a colony of 7 Bennet's wallabies that died over a 17-month period at a safari-zoological park in northeastern Spain. Only one of these wallabies was examined at necropsy. T. gondii-like organisms were detected by histological examination in several tissues and the diagnosis was confirmed through detection of T. gondii DNA by PCR. A nested PCR-based assay detected the 200- to 300-fold repetitive 529bp DNA fragment of T. gondii in a sample of brain tissue. Genotyping analysis with 15 single-copy microsatellite markers was performed on this positive DNA sample and revealed an atypical genotype. Atypical genotypes are frequently associated with severe forms of toxoplasmosis in humans. The present report highlights the possible implications of the introduction of new atypical, more pathogenic T. gondii strains, to non-endemic areas.Veterinary Parasitology 03/2013; · 2.38 Impact Factor