Clinical, parasitological, and serological characteristics of toxoplasmosis in felines (Felis catus) infected with isolates i and III of Toxoplasma gondii

Weslen Fabricio Pires Teixeira, Dielson da Silva Vieira, Welber Daniel Zanetti Lopes, Gustavo Felippelli, Regina Maura Bueno Franco, Nilson Branco, Vando Edésio Soares, Katia Denise Saraiva Bresciani, Alvimar José da Costa


Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, characterized by a clinical or subclinical infection attributed mainly to the isolate of the parasite responsible for the infection. Although domestic felines are considered the only urban hosts of this parasite and, consequently, the animals responsible for perpetuating T. gondii cycle in this environment, there is still a lack of information regarding the potential of different strains/isolates of this parasite and appearance of clinical signs during infection in domestic felines. In this context, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the clinical, parasitological, and serological characteristics of toxoplasmosis in felines infected with T. gondii isolates type I (RH strain) and III (P strain). Twelve healthy and serologically negative felines were selected for T. gondii (IgG titer < 16). These animals were divided into three experimental groups, GI: (P1, P2, P3, and P4) inoculated with 600 cysts of T. gondii (P strain), GII: (RH1, RH2, RH3, and RH4) inoculated with 2 × 105 tachyzoites (RH strain), and GIII: (C1, C2, C3, and C4) uninoculated. From the seventh day before (day ?7) to the 70th day after inoculation (DAI), the animals were observed daily to verify the occurrence of alterations in the digestive, nervous, locomotor, cardiorespiratory, and urinary systems, as well as skin and appendages. The clinical signs most observed in felines inoculated with T. gondii were apathy, hyporexia, shivering, nasal secretion, ocular secretion, and diarrhea. The results obtained in this study allow inferring that T. gondii isolate type I (RH strain) was more pathogenic to feline species than isolate type III (P strain), although both showed clinical symptomatology in all infected animals.


Toxoplasmosis; Parasites; Experimental infection; Oocysts.

Full Text:



BARRAGAN, A.; SIBLEY, L. D. Transepithelial migration of Toxoplasma gondii is linked to parasite motility and virulence. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Birmingham, v. 195, n. 12, p. 1625-1633, 2002. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20020258

BERNSTEEN, L.; GREGORY, C. R.; ARONSON, L. R.; LIRTZMAN, R. A.; BRUMMER, D. G. Acute toxoplasmosis following renal transplantation in three cats and a dog. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, New York, v. 215, n. 8, p. 1123-1126, 1999.

BRASIL. Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, Conselho Nacional de Controle de Experimentação Animal (CONCEA), Portaria n. 596, de 25 de junho de 2013. Diretrizes da prática de eutanásia do Conselho Nacional de Controle de Experimentação Animal - CONCEA, Brasília, 2013. Seção 1, p. 5.

CAMARGO, M. E. Improvided technique of indirect immunofluorescence for serological diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, São Paulo, v. 6, n. 3, p. 117-118, 1964.

CASTRO, G. A.; BADIAL-ACEVES, F.; SMITH, J. W.; DUDRICK, S. J.; WEISBRODT, N. W. Altered small bowel propulsion associated with parasitism. Gastroenterology, Bethesda, v. 71, n. 4, p. 620-625, 1976. DOI: 10.1016/S0016-5085(76)80553-7

CORRÊA, W. M.; CORRÊA, C. N. M. Toxoplasmose. Enfermidades infecciosas dos mamíferos domésticos. Rio de Janeiro: Medsi, 1992. 757 p.

COSTA, A. J.; ARAUJO, F. G.; COSTA, J. O.; LIMA, J. D.; NASCIMENTO, E. Experimental infection of bovines with oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii. Journal of Parasitology, Laurence, v. 63, n. 2, p. 212-218, 1977. DOI: 10.2307/3280042

COSTA, A. J.; COSTA, J. O.; LIMA, J. D.; ARAÚJO, F. G. Produção de oocistos de Toxoplasma gondii em gatos experimentalmente infectados. Ciência e Cultura, São Paulo, v. 31, n. 16, p. 1170, 1979.

DUBEY, J. P. Comparative infectivity of oocysts and bradyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii for intermediate (mice) and definitive (cats) hosts. Veterinary Parasitology, Amsterdam, v. 140, n. 1-2, p. 69-75, 2006. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.03.018

DUBEY, J. P. History of the discovery of the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii. International Journal for Parasitology, Oxford, v. 39, n. 8, p. 877-882, 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.01.005

DUBEY, J. P. Infectivity and pathogenicity of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts for cats. Journal of Parasitology, Laurence, v. 82, n. 6, p. 957-960, 1996. DOI: 10.2307/3284206

DUBEY, J. P. Toxoplasmosis. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, New York, v. 189, n. 2, p. 166-170, 1986.

DUBEY, J. P. Unexpected oocyst shedding by cats fed Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites: in vivo stage conversion and strain variation. Toxoplasmosis-a waterborne zoonosis. Veterinary Parasitology, Amsterdam, v. 133, n. 4, p. 289-298, 2005. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.06.007

DUBEY, J. P.; CARPENTER, J. L. Histologically confirmed clinical toxoplasmosis in cats: 100 cases (1952- 1990). Journal of the American Hospital Association, Lakewood, v. 203, n. 11, p. 1556-1566, 1993.

DUBEY, J. P.; LAPPIN, M. R. Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis. In: GREENE, C. E. Infectious diseases of the dog and cat. 3th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier, 2006. p. 754-775.

DUBEY, J. P.; LAPPIN, M. R.; THULLIEZ, M. Diagnosis of induced toxoplasmosis in neonatal cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, New York, v. 207, n. 2, p. 179-185, 1995.

DUBEY, J. P.; LINDSAY, D. S.; SPEER, C. A. Structures of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites, bradyzoites, and sporozoites and biology and development of tissue cysts. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Washington, v. 11, n. 2, p. 267-299, 1998.

DUBEY, J. P.; MILLER, N. L.; FRENKEL, J. K. The Toxoplasma gondii oocyst from cat feces. Journal of Experimental Medicine, Birmingham, v. 132, n. 4, p. 636-662, 1970. DOI: 10.1084/jem.132.4.636.

DUBEY, J. P.; PROWELL, M. Ante-mortem diagnosis diarrhea, oocyst shedding, treatment, isolation and genetic typing of Toxoplasma gondii associated with clinical toxoplasmosis in a naturally infected cat. Journal of Parasitology, Laurence, v. 5, n. 58, p. 158-160, 2012. DOI: 10.1645/GE-3257.1

DUBEY, J. P.; SWAN, G. V.; FRENKEL, J. K. A simplified method for isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from the faeces of cats. Journal of Parasitology, Laurence, v. 58, n. 5, p. 1005-1006, 1972. DOI: 10.2307/3286603

FEITOSA, F. L. F. Semiologia veterinária: a arte do diagnóstico. 2. ed. São Paulo: Editora Roca, 2008. 735p.

FERGUSON, D. J. P. Identification of faecal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii: Small science, large characters. International Journal for Parasitology, Oxford, v. 39, n. 8, p. 871-875, 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.01.003

JAMRA, L. M. F.; SOGORB, S. F.; GUIMARÃES, E. C. Reinfecção pelo Toxoplasma gondii Nicolle & Manceaux, 1909 em camundongos e gatos. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, São Paulo, v. 27, n. 6, p. 318-327, 1985. DOI: 10.1590/S0036-46651985000600005

LAPPIN, M. R. Feline toxoplasmosis. In Practice, London, v. 21, n. 10, p. 578-589, 1999. DOI: 10.1136/inpract.21.10.578

LAPPIN, M. R. Segredo em medicina interna de felinos. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2004. 506 p.

LAPPIN, M. R.; GREENE, C. E.; PRESTWOOD, A. K.; DAWE, D. L.; TARLETON, R. L. Diagnosis of recent Toxoplasma gondii infection in cats by use of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for immunoglobulin. American Journal of Veterinary Research, Chicago, v. 50, n. 9, p. 1580-1585, 1989a.

LAPPIN, M. R.; LAPPIN, M. R.; GREENE, C. E.; WINSTON, S.; TOLL, S. L.; EPSTEIN, M. E. Clinical feline toxoplasmosis serologic diagnosis and therapeutic management of 15 cases. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Greenwood Village, v. 3, n. 3, p. 3139-143, 1989b. DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.1989.tb03089.x

LLORENTE LACHA, V.; MARTINEZ FERNANDEZ, A. R.; GARCIA DIAZ, J. J. Caracterizacion de l cepa V-1 de Toxoplasma gondii (Sporozoa). II. Inoculacion en hospedadores definitivos. Revista Ibérica de Parasitologia, Granada, v. 43, n. 1, p. 15-24, 1983.

MITSUKA, R.; BECKNER da SILVA, A. C.; NAVARRO, I. T.; BREGANÓ, J. W.; VIDOTTO, O. Toxoplasma gondii: I. Avaliação da virulência de oito amostras. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science, São Paulo, v. 35, n. 1, p. 29-31, 1998. DOI: 10.1590/S1413-95961998000100005

NAVARRO, I. T.; VIDOTTO, O.; SILVA, A. C. B.; MITSUKA, R.; JANKEVICIUS, J. V.; SHIDA, P. N.; CORTÊS, J. A. Comportamento imunológico e antigênico de cinco amostras de Toxoplasma gondii inoculadas em gatos. Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, v. 28, n. 3, p. 453-459, 1998. DOI: 10.1590/S0103-84781998000300017

PENA, H. F. J.; GENNARI, S. M.; DUBEY, J. P.; SU, C. Population structure and mouse-virulence of Toxoplasma gondii in Brazil. International Journal for Parasitology, Oxford, v. 38, n. 5, p. 561-569, 2008. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.09.004

REY, L. Bases da parasitologia médica. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan, 2002. 379 p.

SABIN, A. B. Toxoplasmic encephalites in children. Journal of the American Medical Association, Cidade, v. 116, n. 9, p. 801-807, 1941. DOI: 10.1001/jama.1941.02820090001001

SAKAMOTO, C. A. M.; GENNARI, S. M.; PENA, H. F.; TONIOLLO, G. H.; LOPES, W. D.; BICHUETTE, M. A.; BETINI, C. M.; AMARANTE, A. F.; BRESCIANI, K. D. Experimental infection of pregnant queens with two major Brazilian clonal lineages of Toxoplasma gondii. Parasitology Research, Berlin, v. 105, n. 5, p. 1311-1316, 2009. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-009-1558-y

SHARMA, S. D. Immunology of toxoplasmosis. In: WYLER, D. J. Modern parasite biology cellular, immunological and molecular aspects. New York: W. H. Freeman & Co, 1990. p. 157-183.

SIBLEY, L. D.; MORDUE, D.; HOWE, D. K. Experimental approaches to understanding virulence in toxoplasmosis. Immunobiology, v. 201, n. 2, p. 210-224, 1999. DOI: 10.1016/S0171-2985(99)80061-8

SILVA, T. A. C.; CHIOCCOLA, V. L. P. Fase aguda da infecção por Toxoplasma gondii: avaliação do parasitismo sanguíneo e resposta humoral em camundongos isogênicos. Scientia Medica, Porto Alegre, v. 20, n. 1, p. 88-92, 2010.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS SYSTEM INSTITUTE - SAS Institute. SAS User’s Guide: Estatistics. Cary: SAS Institute, Inc., 2001.

SULLIVAN, W. J.; JEFFERS, V. Mechanisms of Toxoplasma gondii persistence and latency. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, Oxford, v. 36, n. 3, p. 717-733, 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2011.00305.x

SWINGER, R. L.; SHMIDT, K. A.; DUBIELZIG, R. R. Keratoconjunctivitis associated with Toxoplasma gondii in a dog. Veterinary Ophthalmology, Meridian, v. 12, n. 1, p. 56-60, 2009. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2009.00675.x

ZAMAN, V. Morfology of Toxoplasma oocysts and its comparison with other cat coccidia. South Asian Journal Tropical Medicine Public Health, Bangkok, v. 1, n. 3, p. 329-335, 1970.


Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional