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Parasitology. 2008 Jan;135(Pt 1):39-45. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Isolation and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii from Ugandan chickens reveals frequent multiple infections.

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Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


The genetic make-up of an infecting Toxoplasma gondii strain may be important for the outcome of infection and the risk of reactivation of chronic disease. In order to survey the distribution of different genotypes within an area, free-range chickens act as a good model species. In this study 85 chickens were used to investigate the prevalence, genotype and mouse virulence of T. gondii in Kampala, Uganda. Antibodies were detected in 40 chickens, of which 20 had MAT-titres of 1:20 or higher and were also positive by PCR. Genotyping of 5 loci (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB and GRA6) showed that 6 strains belonged to genotype I, 8 to Type II and 1 to Type III. Five chickens had multiple infections; 3 individuals with Type I plus Type II and a further 2 harbouring Types I, II and III. Isolates were obtained from 9 chickens via bioassay in mice, 6 were Type II strains and 3 were from animals with mixed infection. This is the first set of African T. gondii strains to be genotyped at multiple loci and in addition to the 3 predominant lineages we found a small number of new polymorphisms and a high frequency of multiple infections.

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