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J Infect Dis. 2010 Oct 15;202(8):1226-33. doi: 10.1086/656397.

Identification of an atypical strain of toxoplasma gondii as the cause of a waterborne outbreak of toxoplasmosis in Santa Isabel do Ivai, Brazil.

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Jules Gonin Eye Hospital and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Multilocus DNA sequencing has identified a nonarchetypal strain of Toxoplasma gondii as the causal agent of a waterborne outbreak in Brazil in 2001. The strain, isolated from a water supply epidemiologically linked to the outbreak, was virulent to mice, and it has previously been identified as BrI. Using a serologic assay that detects strain-specific antibodies, we found that 13 (65%) of 20 individuals who were immunoglobulin (Ig) M positive during the outbreak possessed the same serotype as mice infected with the purported epidemic strain. The remaining 7 individuals, plus additional IgM-negative, IgG-positive individuals, possessed 1 of 4 novel serotypes, the most common of which matched the serotype of mice infected with strains isolated from chickens foraging near the outbreak site. The latter strains likely reflect the genetic diversity of T. gondii circulating in highly endemic regions of Brazil. The serotyping assay proved a useful tool for identification of specific individuals infected with the outbreak agent.

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