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Int J Parasitol. 2009 Jul 1;39(8):877-82.

History of the discovery of the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii.

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United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.


It has been 100 years since the discovery of Toxoplasma gondii in 1908. Its full life cycle was not discovered until 1970 when it was found that it is a coccidian parasite of cats with all non-feline warm blooded animals (including humans) as intermediate hosts. The discovery of the environmentally resistant stage of the parasite, the oocyst, made it possible to explain its worldwide prevalence. In the present paper, events associated with the discovery of its life cycle are recalled.

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