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      Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis and typing of Toxoplasma gondii

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          Abstract

          Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, is an important zoonosis with medical and veterinary importance worldwide. The disease is mainly contracted by ingesting undercooked or raw meat containing viable tissue cysts, or by ingesting food or water contaminated with oocysts. The diagnosis and genetic characterization of T. gondii infection is crucial for the surveillance, prevention and control of toxoplasmosis. Traditional approaches for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis include etiological, immunological and imaging techniques. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis has been improved by the emergence of molecular technologies to amplify parasite nucleic acids. Among these, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular techniques have been useful for the genetic characterization of T. gondii. Serotyping methods based on polymorphic polypeptides have the potential to become the choice for typing T. gondii in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize conventional non-DNA-based diagnostic methods, and the DNA-based molecular techniques for the diagnosis and genetic characterization of T. gondii. These techniques have provided foundations for further development of more effective and accurate detection of T. gondii infection. These advances will contribute to an improved understanding of the epidemiology, prevention and control of toxoplasmosis.

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          Most cited references 207

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          Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase.

          A thermostable DNA polymerase was used in an in vitro DNA amplification procedure, the polymerase chain reaction. The enzyme, isolated from Thermus aquaticus, greatly simplifies the procedure and, by enabling the amplification reaction to be performed at higher temperatures, significantly improves the specificity, yield, sensitivity, and length of products that can be amplified. Single-copy genomic sequences were amplified by a factor of more than 10 million with very high specificity, and DNA segments up to 2000 base pairs were readily amplified. In addition, the method was used to amplify and detect a target DNA molecule present only once in a sample of 10(5) cells.
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            Toxoplasma gondii comprises three clonal lineages: correlation of parasite genotype with human disease.

             Laura Howe,  L. Sibley (1995)
            The population genetic structure of Toxoplasma gondii was determined by multilocus restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis at 6 loci in 106 independent isolates from humans and animals. Phylogenetic and statistical analyses indicated a highly unusual population structure consisting of 3 widespread clonal lineages. Extensively mixed genotypes were only apparent in 4 strains, which indicated that, while not separate species, sexual recombination between the 3 lineages is exceedingly rare in natural populations. T. gondii is a major cause of subclinical human infection and an important opportunistic pathogen that causes severe disease in immunocompromised patients. While strains from all 3 lineages were isolated from humans, the majority of human toxoplasmosis cases were associated with strains of a type II genotype. The correlation of specific clonal lineages with human toxoplasmosis has important implications for development of vaccines, drug treatments, and diagnostic protocols.
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              The history of Toxoplasma gondii--the first 100 years.

              In this paper the history of Toxoplasma gondii and toxoplasmosis is reviewed. This protozoan parasite was first discovered in 1908 and named a year later. Its medical importance remained unknown until 1939 when T. gondii was identified in tissues of a congenitally infected infant, and veterinary importance became known when it was found to cause abortion storms in sheep in 1957. The discovery of a T. gondii specific antibody test, Sabin-Feldman dye test in 1948 led to the recognition that T. gondii is a common parasite of warm-blooded hosts with a worldwide distribution. Its life cycle was not discovered until 1970 when it was found that felids are its definitive host and an environmentally resistant stage (oocyst) is excreted in feces of infected cats. The recent discovery of its common infection in certain marine wildlife (sea otters) indicates contamination of our seas with T. gondii oocysts washed from land. Hygiene remains the best preventive measure because currently there is no vaccine to prevent toxoplasmosis in humans.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                liuquan1973@hotmail.com
                851077608@qq.com
                siyang.huang@hotmail.com
                xingquanzhu1@hotmail.com
                Journal
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                1756-3305
                28 May 2015
                28 May 2015
                2015
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [ ]State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu Province 730046 People’s Republic of China
                [ ]Key Laboratory of Jilin Province for Zoonosis Prevention and Control, Military Veterinary Institute, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Changchun, Jilin Province 130122 People’s Republic of China
                [ ]Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou University College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province 225009 People’s Republic of China
                Article
                902
                10.1186/s13071-015-0902-6
                4451882
                26017718
                © Liu et al. 2015
                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Parasitology

                toxoplasma gondii, toxoplasmosis, diagnosis, genetic characterization, genotyping, serotyping

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