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Parasitol Res. 2000 Oct;86(10):783-6.

The taxonomic importance of obligate heteroxeny: distinction of Hammondia hammondi from Toxoplasma gondii--another opinion.

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Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Santa Fe 87501-8803, USA.


We enumerate identical and divergent findings concerning the obligate heteroxenous Hammondia hammondi and the facultatively homoxenous or heteroxenous Toxoplasma gondii. Differences exist in life-cycles, transmission, and host range, especially transmissibility to birds and mammals other than rodents, in ultrastructural morphology, immunity and serology in cats and to lesser degree in rodents, in DNA sequences and in isoenzymes. Because the recognition of obligate heteroxeny is essential to study these organisms and to recognize them as taxa, it is advantageous to give heteroxeny a generic rather than a specific value. Characterization of organisms with the life-cycle patterns of Hammondia, Sarcocystis, Frenkelia, and Toxoplasma is best achieved by means of the genera presently used.

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