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, 170 (1-2), 8-13

Analysis of Marine Bivalve Shellfish From the Fish Market in Santos City, São Paulo State, Brazil, for Toxoplasma Gondii

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Analysis of Marine Bivalve Shellfish From the Fish Market in Santos City, São Paulo State, Brazil, for Toxoplasma Gondii

Patrícia O Esmerini et al. Vet Parasitol.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine if Toxoplasma gondii are present in oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) and mussels (Mytella guyanensis) under natural conditions using a bioassay in mice and molecular detection methods. We first compared two standard protocols for DNA extraction, phenol-chloroform (PC) and guanidine-thiocyanate (GT), for both molluscs. A total of 300 oysters and 300 mussels were then acquired from the fish market in Santos city, São Paulo state, Brazil, between March and August of 2008 and divided into 60 groups of 5 oysters and 20 groups of 15 mussels. To isolate the parasite, five mice were orally inoculated with sieved tissue homogenates from each group of oysters or mussels. For molecular detection of T. gondii, DNA from mussels was extracted using the PC method and DNA from oysters was extracted using the GT method. A nested-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based on the amplification of a 155 bp fragment from the B1 gene of T. gondii was then performed. Eleven PCR-RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) markers, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, CS3 and Apico, were used to genotype positive samples. There was no isolation of the parasite by bioassay in mice. T. gondii was not detected in any of the groups of mussels by nested-PCR. DNA of T. gondii was apparently detected by nested-PCR in 2 groups of oysters (3.3%). Genotyping of these two positive samples was not successful. The results suggest that oysters of the species C. rhizophorae, the most common species from the coast of São Paulo, can filter and retain T. gondii oocysts from the marine environment. Ingestion of raw oysters as a potential transmission source of T. gondii to humans and marine mammals should be further investigated.

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