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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2008;2008:632424. doi: 10.1155/2008/632424.

Toxoplasma rhoptries: unique secretory organelles and source of promising vaccine proteins for immunoprevention of toxoplasmosis.

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  • 1Department of Immunoparasitology, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Lodz, 90-237 Lodz, Poland.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite classified in the phylum Apicomplexa, which includes numerous notable human and animal pathogens (Plasmodium species, Cryptosporidium species, Neospora caninum, etc.). The invasive stages of apicomplexans are characterized by the presence of an apical complex composed of specialized cytoskeletal and secretory organelles, including rhoptries. Rhoptries, unique apical secretory organelles shared exclusively by all apicomplexan parasites, are known to be involved in an active parasite's penetration into the host cell associated with the biogenesis of specific intracellular compartment, parasitophorous vacuole in which the parasite multiplies intensively, avoiding intracellular killing. Due to the key biological role of rhoptries, rhoptry proteins have recently become vaccine candidates for the prevention of several parasitoses, toxoplasmosis among them. The article presents current data on T. gondii rhoptries biology and new approaches to the development of effective vaccines against toxoplasmosis using rhoptry antigens.

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