Genotyping of samples from German patients with ocular, cerebral and systemic toxoplasmosis reveals a predominance of Toxoplasma gondii type II

Herrmann, Daland GND; Maksimov, Pavlo GND; Hotop, A.; Groß, U.; Däubener, W.; Liesenfeld, O.; Pleyer, U.; Conraths, Franz Josef GND; Schares, Gereon GND

Toxoplasmosis is an important zoonosis transmitted from animals to humans world-wide. In order to determine Toxoplasma gondii genotypes in individuals living in Germany and to compare findings with those in animals, we analysed nine independent and unlinked genetic markers (nSAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico) by PCR-RFLP in 83 archived T. gondii-positive DNA samples from patients with ocular toxoplasmosis (n = 35), toxoplasmic encephalitis (n = 32), systemic toxoplasmosis after bone-marrow transplantation (n = 15) and congenital toxoplasmosis (n = 1). In 46 of these 83 samples the presence of T. gondii DNA was confirmed by conventional end-point PCR. Among these, 17 T. gondii-positive samples were typed at all nine loci. The majority (15/17, 88.2%) of these samples were of T. gondii type II (i.e., including both, the Apico type II and Apico type I variants). In addition, in one sample a T. gondii type II/type III allele combination and in another sample a T. gondii genotype displaying type III alleles at all markers was observed. In the remaining 11 samples in which T. gondii could only be partially typed exclusively type II (n = 10) or type III (n = 1) alleles were observed. Results of the present study suggest that the majority of patients in Germany are infected with type II T. gondii regardless of the clinical manifestation of toxoplasmosis. This finding is in accord with the predominance of type II T. gondii in oocysts isolated from cats and in tissues of other intermediate hosts in Germany.

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Herrmann, Daland / Maksimov, Pavlo / Hotop, A. / et al: Genotyping of samples from German patients with ocular, cerebral and systemic toxoplasmosis reveals a predominance of Toxoplasma gondii type II. 2014.

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