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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from alpaca (Vicugna pacos) and sheep (Ovis aries) grazed on pasture in Virginia
Authors: Dubey J, Cassey S, Zajac A, Wildeus S, Lindsay D, Verma S, Oliveira S, Kwok O, Su C
Journal: Trop Anim Health Pro
Accepted date: 2014 Jun 25
Interpretive summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating under cooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Toxoplasmosis continues to be a major public health problem. Why some people become sick is largely unknown. The parasite genetics affects pathogenicity. In the present study, authors found that the strains of Toxoplasma isolated from sheep and alpacas grazed same pastures had different genotypes. The results indicate that there is higher genetic diversity among isolates of Toxoplasma in the USA than previously believed. These results will be of interest to biologists, and parasitologists.
Publication date: 2014 Aug 6
Pages: 1-5