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Microbes Infect. 2003 Jun;5(7):685-90.

Sexual recombination and clonal evolution of virulence in Toxoplasma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of British Columbia, 2733 Heather Street, BC, V5Z 3J5, Vancouver, Canada. mgrigg@interchange.ubc.ca


The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is endemic worldwide. For such a widespread pathogen that has few geographic or host boundaries, it possess an unexpected population structure comprised principally of three clonally propagated lineages. The origin and the evolutionary dynamics of these three lines are unclear. Recent population genetic analyses suggest that a meiotic recombination between two discrete gene pools produces a pandemic outbreak of three super-successful lines, which have recently come to dominate most other strains worldwide.

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