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Duration of Immunity to Shedding of Toxoplasma gondii Oocysts by Cats

J. P. Dubey
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 81, No. 3 (Jun., 1995), pp. 410-415
DOI: 10.2307/3283823
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283823
Page Count: 6
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Duration of Immunity to Shedding of Toxoplasma gondii Oocysts by Cats
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Abstract

Cats that have shed Toxoplasma gondii oocysts are considered to be immune to reshedding of oocysts. To investigate if this immunity persists in cats for 6 yr, 12 4-6-mo-old cats without T. gondii antibodies were inoculated orally with tissue cysts of the ME-49 strain (6 cats) and the TS-2 strain (6 cats) of T. gondii. All of them shed ≥20 million oocysts between 4 and 13 days after feeding tissue cysts. Two cats became ill between 11 and 13 days after primary infection; 1 died on the 13th day, and the other had to be killed on the 1 lth day because of generalized acute toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found on the hair of 10 cats examined 7 days after cats had shed millions of oocysts. On day 39 after primary infection, 5 cats (2 infected with the ME-49 strain and 3 infected with the TS-2 strain) were challenged orally with tissue cysts of the ME-49 strain. None of the challenged cats shed oocysts. One cat died due to causes unrelated to toxoplasmosis. Seventy-seven months after primary infection, the remaining 9 cats were challenged orally with tissue cysts of the P89 strain of T. gondii. Four of these 9 cats re-shed T. gondii oocysts; 3 of them had been challenged also at 39 days after primary infection. Two control cats housed together with chronically infected cats for 6 yr remained seronegative for T. gondii; both of these shed oocysts after challenge with the P89 strain.

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