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Evidence for high levels of vertical transmission in Toxoplasma gondii

Hide, G, Morley, EK, Hughes, JM, Gerwash, O, Elmahaishi, MS, Elmahaishi, KH, Thomasson, D, Wright, EA, Williams, RH, Murphy, RG and Smith, JE 2009, 'Evidence for high levels of vertical transmission in Toxoplasma gondii' , Parasitology, 136 (14) , pp. 1877-85.

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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is a highly ubiquitous and prevalent parasite. Despite the cat being the only definitive host, it is found in almost all geographical areas and warm blooded animals. Three routes of transmission are recognised: ingestion of oocysts shed by the cat, carnivory and congenital transmission. In natural populations, it is difficult to establish the relative importance of these routes. This paper reviews recent work in our laboratory which suggests that congenital transmission may be much more important than previously thought. Using PCR detection of the parasite, studies in sheep show that congenital transmission may occur in as many as 66% of pregnancies. Furthermore, in families of sheep on the same farm, exposed to the same sources of oocysts, significant divergent prevalences of Toxoplasma infection and abortion are found between different families. The data suggest that breeding from infected ewes increases the risk of subsequent abortion and infection in lambs. Congenital transmission rates in a natural population of mice were found to be 75%. Interestingly, congenital transmission rates in humans were measured at 19.8%. The results presented in these studies differ from those of other published studies and suggest that vertical transmission may be much more important than previously thought.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; vertical transmission; epidemiology; PCR; sheep; humans; mice
Themes: Subjects / Themes > Q Science > Q Science (General)
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QL Zoology
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QR Microbiology
Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Subjects / Themes > S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Parasitology
Publisher: Camdridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1469-8161
Depositing User: G Hide
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2010 10:13
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:33
URI: http://usir.eprints.org/id/eprint/10991

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