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Vet Parasitol. 2013 Sep 1;196(1-2):206-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.01.015. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Ethiopian feral cats.

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United States of Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Building 1001, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.


Recent studies indicate greater genetic variability among isolates of Toxoplasma gondii worldwide than previously thought. However, there is no information on genetic diversity of T. gondii from any host in Ethiopia. In the present study, genotyping was performed on viable T. gondii isolates by bioassays in mice from tissues and feces of 27 cats from Ethiopia. Viable T. gondii was isolated from hearts of 26 cats, feces alone of 1 cat, and feces and tissues of 6 cats; in total there were 33 isolates. Genotyping was performed on DNA from cell-cultured derived T. gondii tachyzoites and by using 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). Four genotypes were recognized, including ToxoDB #1 (Type II clonal, nine isolates), ToxoDB #2 (Type III, five isolates), Toxo DB #3 (Type II variant, ten isolates), and ToxoDB #20 (nine isolates). Of interest is the isolation of different genotypes from tissues and feces of two cats, suggesting re-infection or mixed strain T. gondii infection. These findings are of epidemiological significance with respect to shedding of oocysts by cats. This is the first report of genotyping of T. gondii from any host in Ethiopia.


Cats; Ethiopia; Genotyping; Toxoplasma gondii

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