Studies on a murine model of congenital toxoplasmosis: vertical disease transmission only occurs in BALB/c mice infected for the first time during pregnancy

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Abstract

The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis was determined by an ELISA in the litters of BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating, on day 12 of pregnancy, or on both these occasions. Of those mice given the infection for the first time on day 12 of pregnancy, 5 out of 6 gave birth to infected litters with approximately 50% of the individuals in each litter being infected. BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating did not give birth to infected litters, even if they were reinfected on day 12 of pregnancy. Following infection BALB/c mice were found to harbour significantly fewer tissue cysts than the congenic H-2 derivative BALB/K strain. However, chronically infected BALB/K mice also failed to produce infected litters, indicating that tissue cyst burden in the dam did not influence congenital infection at least on the BALB background. This study demonstrates that BALB/c dams chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii, have immunity capable of protecting their embryos from congenital infection, even if the dams are reinfected during pregnancy. Our results demonstrate that the BALB/c mouse can be used as a model of human or ovine congenital T. gondii infection suitable for testing putative vaccines.

LanguageEnglish
Pages19-23
Number of pages5
JournalParasitology
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1992

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Congenital Toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis
disease transmission
litters (young animals)
animal models
pregnancy
Pregnancy
mice
infection
Toxoplasma gondii
Infection
Cysts
Parturition
Toxoplasma
Immunity
Sheep
embryo (animal)
Vaccines
Embryonic Structures
immunity

Keywords

  • animals
  • antibodies, protozoan
  • brain
  • disease models, animal
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • female
  • immunoglobulin G
  • incidence
  • litter size
  • mice
  • mice, inbred BALB C
  • mice, inbred C57BL
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy complications, infectious
  • toxoplasma
  • toxoplasmosis, congenital

Cite this

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title = "Studies on a murine model of congenital toxoplasmosis: vertical disease transmission only occurs in BALB/c mice infected for the first time during pregnancy",
abstract = "The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis was determined by an ELISA in the litters of BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating, on day 12 of pregnancy, or on both these occasions. Of those mice given the infection for the first time on day 12 of pregnancy, 5 out of 6 gave birth to infected litters with approximately 50{\%} of the individuals in each litter being infected. BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating did not give birth to infected litters, even if they were reinfected on day 12 of pregnancy. Following infection BALB/c mice were found to harbour significantly fewer tissue cysts than the congenic H-2 derivative BALB/K strain. However, chronically infected BALB/K mice also failed to produce infected litters, indicating that tissue cyst burden in the dam did not influence congenital infection at least on the BALB background. This study demonstrates that BALB/c dams chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii, have immunity capable of protecting their embryos from congenital infection, even if the dams are reinfected during pregnancy. Our results demonstrate that the BALB/c mouse can be used as a model of human or ovine congenital T. gondii infection suitable for testing putative vaccines.",
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author = "Roberts, {C W} and J Alexander and Craig Roberts",
year = "1992",
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AU - Roberts, C W

AU - Alexander, J

AU - Roberts, Craig

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N2 - The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis was determined by an ELISA in the litters of BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating, on day 12 of pregnancy, or on both these occasions. Of those mice given the infection for the first time on day 12 of pregnancy, 5 out of 6 gave birth to infected litters with approximately 50% of the individuals in each litter being infected. BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating did not give birth to infected litters, even if they were reinfected on day 12 of pregnancy. Following infection BALB/c mice were found to harbour significantly fewer tissue cysts than the congenic H-2 derivative BALB/K strain. However, chronically infected BALB/K mice also failed to produce infected litters, indicating that tissue cyst burden in the dam did not influence congenital infection at least on the BALB background. This study demonstrates that BALB/c dams chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii, have immunity capable of protecting their embryos from congenital infection, even if the dams are reinfected during pregnancy. Our results demonstrate that the BALB/c mouse can be used as a model of human or ovine congenital T. gondii infection suitable for testing putative vaccines.

AB - The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis was determined by an ELISA in the litters of BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating, on day 12 of pregnancy, or on both these occasions. Of those mice given the infection for the first time on day 12 of pregnancy, 5 out of 6 gave birth to infected litters with approximately 50% of the individuals in each litter being infected. BALB/c mice which had been infected 8 weeks before mating did not give birth to infected litters, even if they were reinfected on day 12 of pregnancy. Following infection BALB/c mice were found to harbour significantly fewer tissue cysts than the congenic H-2 derivative BALB/K strain. However, chronically infected BALB/K mice also failed to produce infected litters, indicating that tissue cyst burden in the dam did not influence congenital infection at least on the BALB background. This study demonstrates that BALB/c dams chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii, have immunity capable of protecting their embryos from congenital infection, even if the dams are reinfected during pregnancy. Our results demonstrate that the BALB/c mouse can be used as a model of human or ovine congenital T. gondii infection suitable for testing putative vaccines.

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KW - antibodies, protozoan

KW - brain

KW - disease models, animal

KW - enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

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KW - immunoglobulin G

KW - incidence

KW - litter size

KW - mice

KW - mice, inbred BALB C

KW - mice, inbred C57BL

KW - pregnancy

KW - pregnancy complications, infectious

KW - toxoplasma

KW - toxoplasmosis, congenital

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