Primary and secondary Toxoplasma gondii infection in normal and feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cats

Michael R. Lappin, Jeanne W. George, Niels C Pedersen, Jeffrey E. Barlough, Christopher J Murphy, Lawrence S Morse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Normal and asymptomatic feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected adult cats were inoculated orally with Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts to assess differences in clinical disease, T. gondii serologic test results, hematologic results, and oocyst shedding. There was no difference between FIV-naive and FIV-infected cats in terms of clinical illness and duration of oocyst shedding following primary exposure. Both groups of cats developed significant decreases in neutrophil counts following primary inoculation with T. gondii; FIV-infected cats that were neutropenic prior to inoculation with T. gondii developed the most profound decreases in neutrophil numbers. Both FIV-naive and FIV-infected cats became lymphopenic during acute T. gondii infection; however, only FIV-naive cats developed lymphocytosis in the recovery stage. FIV-infected cats had lower total CD4+ and higher total CD8+ T-lymphocyte counts than FIV-naive cats prior to inoculation with T. gondii, but changes in these lymphocyte subsets were similar between groups of cats during the first several weeks after inoculation. Toxoplasma gondii infection had neither an ameliorating nor enhancing effect on T-lymphocyte subset abnormalities in FIV-infected cats during acute or chronic infection. Both groups of cats developed comparable levels of T. gondii-specific IgM and IgG antibodies and T. gondii antigen-specific lymphocyte blastogenic responses following primary inoculation. Both groups of cats were fed T. gondii tissue cysts 66 wk following primary exposure and both groups were solidly immune as evidenced by a lack of oocyst shedding and only minor changes in IgM but not IgG antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology


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