Toxoplasma gondii: Inconsistent dissemination patterns following oral infection in mice

Jon P. Boyle, Jeroen Saeij, John C. Boothroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since Toxoplasma gondii is transmitted in the wild through the ingestion of infective cysts, oral infection is a preferred model for studying the natural mode of parasite dissemination and pathogenesis. Using luciferase-expressing strains of T. gondii and in vivo imaging, we observed different patterns of disease progression in mice depending of the method of oral infection. Oral gavage of infective cysts (e.g., bradyzoites) resulted in an inconsistent pattern of parasite dissemination; in the majority (20/29) of infected mice, luciferase-derived signal (indicating high numbers of Toxoplasma tachyzoites) was first observed in the right chest area. At later time points this signal spread to other parts of the mouse, including the abdominal area. In the remaining mice (9/29), parasites were first observed replicating in the abdominal area, as might be expected. In contrast, when mice were infected naturally (either via ingestion of whole brains from previously infected mice or brain cyst homogenate-soaked bread), parasites were first observed replicating in the abdominal area in all mice examined (10/10). Based on the inconsistency of infections initiated with oral gavage, it is recommended that natural feeding be used to infect mice when a consistent oral infection is desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-305
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioluminescence imaging
  • Gavage
  • Luciferase
  • Oral infection
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Toxoplasma gondii: Inconsistent dissemination patterns following oral infection in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this