Oocyst-induced Toxoplasma gondii infections in cats

J Parasitol. 1989 Oct;75(5):750-5.


To investigate the oocyst-induced cycle with a 21+ day prepatent period, 32 cats were fed 5 x 10(5) to 2 x 10(7) sporulated oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii and necropsied between 4 hr and 41 days thereafter. The presence of the earliest stages in 7 cats was tested in mice. The tissues of 25 cats were studied histologically; 17 were bioassayed by feeding them to cats to determine, by the length of the prepatent period, whether bradyzoites were present. Based on previous studies, a short (3-10 days) prepatent period indicated that bradyzoites were present in an oral inoculum and a long (greater than 21 days) prepatent period indicated the presence of tachyzoites only. Tissues from 14 cats were also bioassayed in mice for the presence of bradyzoites, using their resistance to pepsin as indicator. Six were studied by both methods. Based on these criteria, tachyzoites predominated in extraintestinal organs during the first 14 days after infection. They were found as early as 4 hr in mesenteric lymph nodes where their number reached 10(4) after 6 and 9 days; they were present after 1 day in all levels of the small intestine and after 6 days in the liver, lung, and blood. Bradyzoites were first detected 10 days after oocyst feeding; they predominated by the third week of infection and were present up to 41 days. Enteroepithelial stages were found histologically only in 2 cats, 24 and 41 days after inoculation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Intestine, Small / parasitology
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Lymph Nodes / parasitology
  • Mesentery
  • Mice
  • Muscles / parasitology
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development*
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / parasitology*