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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2000 Sep;64(3):607-23.

Lytic cycle of Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5124, USA.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular pathogen within the phylum Apicomplexa. This protozoan parasite is one of the most widespread, with a broad host range including many birds and mammals and a geographic range that is nearly worldwide. While infection of healthy adults is usually relatively mild, serious disease can result in utero or when the host is immunocompromised. This sophisticated eukaryote has many specialized features that make it well suited to its intracellular lifestyle. In this review, we describe the current knowledge of how the asexual tachyzoite stage of Toxoplasma attaches to, invades, replicates in, and exits the host cell. Since this process is closely analogous to the way in which viruses reproduce, we refer to it as the Toxoplasma "lytic cycle."

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