[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital Toxoplasma gondii infection can result in intracranial calcification, hydrocephalus and retinochoroiditis. Acquired infection is commonly associated with ocular disease. Pathology is characterized by strong proinflammatory responses. Ligation of ATP by purinergic receptor P2X(7), encoded by P2RX7, stimulates proinflammatory cytokines and can lead directly to killing of intracellular pathogens. To determine whether P2X(7) has a role in susceptibility to congenital toxoplasmosis, we examined polymorphisms at P2RX7 in 149 child/parent trios from North America. We found association (FBAT Z-scores +/-2.429; P=0.015) between the derived C(+)G(-) allele (f=0.68; OR=2.06; 95% CI: 1.14-3.75) at single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1718119 (1068T>C; Thr-348-Ala), and a second synonymous variant rs1621388 in linkage disequilibrium with it, and clinical signs of disease per se. Analysis of clinical subgroups showed no association with hydrocephalus, with effect sizes for associations with retinal disease and brain calcifications enhanced (OR=3.0-4.25; 0.004<P<0.009) when hydrocephalus was removed from the analysis. Association with toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis was replicated (FBAT Z-scores +/-3.089; P=0.002) in a small family-based study (60 families; 68 affected offspring) of acquired infection in Brazil, where the ancestral T(+) allele (f=0.296) at SNP rs1718119 was strongly protective (OR=0.27; 95% CI: 0.09-0.80).
Genes and immunity 07/2010; 11(5):374-83. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the natural history of treated and untreated congenital toxoplasmosis and impact of this infection on vision.
In this prospective, longitudinal study, 76 newborns were treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine for approximately one year, and 18 individuals not treated during their first year of life entered the study after age 1 year (historical patients).
Chorioretinal scars were the most common eye finding in all patients and were most common in the periphery (58% of treated and 82% of historical patients). Macular scars were present in 54% of the treated patients; 41% were bilateral. Macular scars were present in 76% of the historical patients; 23% were bilateral. Visual acuity in the presence of macular lesions ranged from 20/20 to 20/400. Of the patients followed up from the newborn period and treated, 29% had bilateral visual impairment, with visual acuity for the best eye of less than 20/40. Causes for this visual impairment in eyes with quiescent lesions included macular scars, dragging of the macula secondary to a peripheral lesion, retinal detachment, optic atrophy, cataract, amblyopia, and phthisis. There were recurrences in both treated (13%, 7/54) and previously untreated historical patients (44%, 8/18). The total, median, and range of years of follow-up during which recurrences were observed were, for treated patients, 189 years (total), five years (median) and three to ten years (range) and, for historical, untreated patients, 160 years (total), 11 years (median), and three to 24 years (range). New lesions occurred in previously normal retinas and also contiguous to older scars. Active lesions appeared to become quiescent within ten to 14 days after beginning pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine therapy.
Many children with congenital toxoplasmosis have substantial retinal damage at birth and consequent loss of vision. Nonetheless, vision may be remarkably good in the presence of large macular scars. Active lesions become quiescent with treatment.
American Journal of Ophthalmology 02/1997; 123(1):1-16. · 3.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital transmission of Toxoplasma gondii from a mother who was apparently immunologically competent and who had toxoplasmic lymphadenitis 2 months before conception is described. Since no T. gondii-specific serological data were available for this mother from the time her lymph node biopsy specimen was obtained, the specimen was studied by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine whether the T. gondii B1 gene was present. The predictive diagnostic value of histologic findings previously considered to be classic signs of T. gondii lymphadenitis also was studied. This was done by correlation of serological tests diagnostic of acute acquired T. gondii infection and presence of characteristic findings in biopsy specimens from persons without known immunocompromise. Both PCR and review of the characteristic features of her lymph node biopsy specimen confirmed the diagnosis of preconceptual infection in the mother. We also discuss two other cases in which apparently immunologically competent mothers with preconceptually acquired infection transmitted this parasite to their fetuses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyrimethamine levels in sera, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and ventricular fluid were measured by using reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. The specimens were from 37 infants receiving pyrimethamine for treatment of suspect or proven congenital toxoplasmosis. Pyrimethamine half-life in serum was 64 +/- 12 h when determined by study of terminal-phase kinetics of samples obtained from nine babies. This half-life was significantly different (P = 0.008) from the pyrimethamine half-life (33 +/- 12 h) determined by terminal-phase kinetics for two babies of the same age taking phenobarbital. Serum pyrimethamine levels at various intervals after dosages of pyrimethamine were also lower for infants receiving phenobarbital. Levels measured in sera from babies taking the same dose of pyrimethamine throughout their first year of life did not appear to vary significantly over time or at different ages (P greater than 0.05). Mean +/- standard deviation serum levels 4 h after a pyrimethamine dose were 1.297 +/- 0.54 micrograms/ml for babies taking 1 mg of pyrimethamine per kg of body weight daily and 0.7 +/- 0.26 microgram/ml for babies taking 1 mg/kg each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Levels in CSF were approximately 10 to 25% of concomitant levels in serum. Serum folate levels for infants who took 0.64 to 1.7 mg leukovorin per kg ranged from 33 to 663 ng/ml. To determine whether the levels of pyrimethamine in serum and CSF of treated infants were in a range that affected the most virulent, rapidly replicating, and standard laboratory strain of Toxoplasma gondii, effects of various concentrations of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine on replication of T. gondii in vitro were assessed. The levels of the antimicrobial agents effective in vitro were in the range of levels of pyrimethamine achieved in sera and CSF. Although folinic acid could inhibit the therapeutic effect of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine in vitro, inhibition was noted only at levels (> or = 4,800 ng/ml) that were considerably higher than the folate levels found in the treated infants' sera.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 05/1992; 36(5):1040-8. · 4.57 Impact Factor