Ocular toxoplasmosis is a vision-threatening disease and the major cause of posterior uveitis worldwide. In spite of the continuing global burden of ocular toxoplasmosis, many critical aspects of disease including the therapeutic approach to ocular toxoplasmosis are still under debate. To assist in addressing many aspects of the disease, numerous experimental models of ocular toxoplasmosis have been established. In this article, we present an overview on in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models of ocular toxoplasmosis available to date.
Experimental studies on ocular toxoplasmosis have recently focused on mice. However, the majority of murine models established so far are based on intraperitoneal and intraocular infection with Toxoplasma gondii. We therefore also present results obtained in an in vivo model using peroral infection of C57BL/6 and NMRI mice that reflects the natural route of infection and mimics the disease course in humans. While advances have been made in ex vivo model systems or larger animals to investigate specific aspects of ocular toxoplasmosis, laboratory mice continue to be the experimental model of choice for the investigation of ocular toxoplasmosis.