Isolation and molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in a colony of captive black-capped squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis)

Pardini, L.; Dellarupe, A.; Bacigalupe, D.; Quiroga, M.A.; Moré, G.; Rambeaud, M.; Basso, Walter GND; Unzaga, J.M.; Schares, Gereon GND; Venturini, M.C.

Toxoplasmosis is commonly asymptomatic; however, it can be a fatal multi systemic disease in some animal species, such as New World monkeys. An outbreak of acute fatal toxoplasmosis was reported in a colony of black-capped squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) from the zoo of La Plata, Argentina. Post-mortem examination of two monkeys revealed macroscopical and microscopical lesions compatible with acute toxoplasmosis. Presence of Toxoplasma gondii was confirmed by immunohistochemistry on monkey tissues, bioassay in mice and PCR using the specific primers B22-B23. By PCR-RFLP analysis, T. gondii isolated in mice, deriving from both monkeys, showed the same restriction pattern, with most markers showing a type III restriction pattern, except for C22-8 (type II) and C29-2 (type I). To our knowledge this is the first report of fatal toxoplasmosis in S. boliviensis caused by a non-canonical or atypical genotype of T. gondii.

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Pardini, L. / Dellarupe, A. / Bacigalupe, D. / et al: Isolation and molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in a colony of captive black-capped squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis). 2015.

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