Feline toxoplasmosis from acutely infected mice and the development of Toxoplasma cysts

J Protozool. 1976 Nov;23(4):537-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1976.tb03836.x.


The development of Toxoplasma cysts was studied in mice inoculated with tachyzoites by several routes. After 1-30 days of infection, murine tissues were examined microscopically and portions or whole carcasses were fed to mice and cats. The feces of the cats were examined for oocyst shedding. Cyst-like structures containing distinct PAS-positive granules were first seen after 3 days of infection with tachyzoites, and became numerous by 6 days. Argyrophilic walls were first seen after 6 days, and became numerous by 16 days of infection with tachyzoites. Prepatent periods to oocyst shedding (PPO) were either "short" (3-10 days) or "long" (19-48 days). The "short" PPO was found only in cats that had ingested mice infected for 3 days or longer, and was related to the development of PAS-positive granules in T. gondii, and to high, 60-100%, oral infectivity rates for cats. The "long" PPO followed the ingestion of mice infected for only 1-2 days, and was related to tachyzoites without distinct PAS-positive granules and low, 32% or less, infectivity for cats. The "long" PPO followed also the ingestion of oocysts and the parenteral inoculation of tachyzoites, bradyzoites, or sporozoites. Using the "short" PPO as a criterion for detecting cysts in tissues, it was shown that (a) numerous cysts developed in mice 5 days after inoculation with tachyzoites, 7-9 days after inoculation with cysts, and 9-10 days after inoculation with oocysts, and (b) cysts developed faster and more frequently in the brain and muscle than in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys of mice inoculated with tachyzoites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / parasitology
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology*
  • Cat Diseases / transmission
  • Cats
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Intestine, Small / parasitology
  • Liver / parasitology
  • Lung / parasitology
  • Mice*
  • Rodent Diseases / parasitology*
  • Toxoplasma / cytology
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / parasitology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / transmission