Bradyzoite-induced murine toxoplasmosis: stage conversion, pathogenesis, and tissue cyst formation in mice fed bradyzoites of different strains of Toxoplasma gondii

J Eukaryot Microbiol. Nov-Dec 1997;44(6):592-602. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1997.tb05965.x.


The development of Toxoplasma gondii was studied in mice fed bradyzoites. At one hour after oral inoculation (HAI), bradyzoites were found in cells of the surface epithelium and the lamina propria of the small intestine, primarily the ileum. Division into two tachyzoites was first observed at 18 HAI in the intestine. At 24 HAI, organisms were also seen in mesenteric lymph nodes. Organisms were first detected in the brain at six days after oral inoculation with bradyzoites (DAI) but not consistently until 10 DAI. Immunohistochemical staining with bradyzoite specific (BAG-5 antigen) anti-serum showed that bradyzoites retained their BAG-5 reactivity even after the first division into two tachyzoites in the intestine at 18 HAI. BAG-5 positive organisms were not seen 2-5 DAI. BAG-5 antigens reappeared in T. gondii at 6 DAI. Whole mice and individual tissues of mice fed bradyzoites were bioassayed in cats and mice for the presence of bradyzoites. Feces of cats fed murine tissues were examined for oocyst shedding for short prepatent periods. Bradyzoites were present in the intestines of mice up to 12 HAI but not at 18 HAI, and tachyzoites and not bradyzoites disseminated to other tissues from the intestine. Bradyzoites were again detected 6 DAI. Using the mouse bioassay, T. gondii was first detected in peripheral blood at 24 HAI and more consistently at 48 HAI. Using a pepsin-digestion procedure and mouse bioassay, organisms were demonstrated in many tissues of mice 15 and 49 DAI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / analysis
  • Cats
  • Mice
  • Organ Specificity
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development*
  • Toxoplasma / immunology
  • Toxoplasma / pathogenicity
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / parasitology*


  • Antigens, Protozoan