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Parasit Vectors. 2013 Sep 21;6:273. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-6-273.

Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in food animals and rodents in different regions of China: isolation, genotyping and mouse pathogenicity.



Recent studies of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from animals in different regions of China have shown a limited genetic diversity and type China 1 was the dominant genotype of T. gondii prevalent in Chinese animals. However, little has been known concerning the isolation and genotyping of T. gondii circulating in chickens, pigs and rodents in China. The aim of the study was to characterize samples of T. gondii isolates obtained from naturally infected cats, pigs and free-range chickens slaughtered for human consumption in China.


In the present study, brain tissues of 77 animals collected from different areas of China, including 24 free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) , 13 voles (Rattus flavipectus), 23 pigs and 17 cats, were bioassayed in mice and viable T. gondii were isolated from the brains of eleven. These eleven T. gondii isolates were maintained in Kunming (KM) outbred mice and DNA isolated from tissues of infected mice was characterized using 11 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, Apico, and CS3. Moreover, to determine mouse virulence of China 1 lineage of parasites, a TgCtgy5 genotype isolate was selected randomly and assessed in KM mice with different inoculation doses.


Results of genotyping revealed that ten isolates were type China 1 (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #9), and TgCksz1 was a new genotype that was reported for the first time designated here as ToxoDB PCR-RFLP #225. No clonal types I, II and III lineages were found. DNA sequencing of four introns (EF1, HP2, UPRT1 and UPRT7) and two genes (GRA6 and GRA7) from representative isolates confirmed the results of PCR-RFLP genotyping. The TgCtgy5 isolate was highly virulent in KM mice; all infected mice died of acute toxoplasmosis, irrespective of the inoculation dose. The results indicate that mouse virulent isolates of T. gondii are predominantly circulating in cats in China.


T. gondii isolated from chickens, pigs, cats and rodents in different locations in China were genotyped and the results reconfirmed the limited diversity of T. gondii in China and showed that type China 1 lineage was dominant in this country.

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