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Brain is the predilection site of Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally inoculated pigs as revealed by magnetic capture and real-time PCR


Jurankova, J; Basso, W; Neumayerova, H; Balaz, V; Janova, E; Sidler, X; Deplazes, P; Koudela, B (2014). Brain is the predilection site of Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally inoculated pigs as revealed by magnetic capture and real-time PCR. Food Microbiology, 38:167-170.

Abstract

Pigs represent an important source of food in many countries, and undercooked pork containing tissue cysts is one of the most common sources of Toxoplasma gondii infection for humans. A magnetic capture method for the isolation of T. gondii DNA and quantitative real-time PCR targeting the 529 bp TOXO repeat element were used to estimate the parasite burden in different tissues of pigs experimentally infected with T. gondii oocysts, and to determine the predilection sites of T. gondii in this host species. The highest concentration of T. gondii DNA was found in brain tissues, equivalent to [median] 553.7 (range 3857.7–121.9) parasites per gram, followed by lungs, heart and dorsal muscles with median values corresponding to 0.3 (range 61.3–0.02); 2.6 (range 7.34–0.37) and 0.6 (range 2.81–0.31) parasites per gram of tissue, respectively. Skeletal muscles from fore and hindlimb, liver and kidney presented very low infection burdens equivalent to [median] ≤0.2 parasites per gram of tissues, and no parasite DNA could be detected in the spleen. This study contributes to understanding the value of different pig tissues as a source of T. gondii infection for humans and shows that the brain, while not being of major importance as human food source, may represent a first-line selection tissue when performing non-serological surveys (e.g. bioassays, histopathological, immunohistochemical or molecular studies) to detect T. gondii infections in pigs.

Abstract

Pigs represent an important source of food in many countries, and undercooked pork containing tissue cysts is one of the most common sources of Toxoplasma gondii infection for humans. A magnetic capture method for the isolation of T. gondii DNA and quantitative real-time PCR targeting the 529 bp TOXO repeat element were used to estimate the parasite burden in different tissues of pigs experimentally infected with T. gondii oocysts, and to determine the predilection sites of T. gondii in this host species. The highest concentration of T. gondii DNA was found in brain tissues, equivalent to [median] 553.7 (range 3857.7–121.9) parasites per gram, followed by lungs, heart and dorsal muscles with median values corresponding to 0.3 (range 61.3–0.02); 2.6 (range 7.34–0.37) and 0.6 (range 2.81–0.31) parasites per gram of tissue, respectively. Skeletal muscles from fore and hindlimb, liver and kidney presented very low infection burdens equivalent to [median] ≤0.2 parasites per gram of tissues, and no parasite DNA could be detected in the spleen. This study contributes to understanding the value of different pig tissues as a source of T. gondii infection for humans and shows that the brain, while not being of major importance as human food source, may represent a first-line selection tissue when performing non-serological surveys (e.g. bioassays, histopathological, immunohistochemical or molecular studies) to detect T. gondii infections in pigs.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology

05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:21 Oct 2013 06:44
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 22:58
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0740-0020
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2013.08.011

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