Open Access

Seroprevalence and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in cancer patients in Anhui Province, Eastern China

Contributed equally
Parasites & Vectors20158:162

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0778-5

Received: 15 December 2014

Accepted: 4 March 2015

Published: 15 March 2015

Abstract

Background

Recent studies have indicated the predominance of Toxoplasma gondii genotype Chinese 1 in animals in China. However, little is known of the genetic features of the parasite in humans. This study aims to determine the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies based on which the genetic character of the parasite was identified in cancer patients in China.

Methods

A total of 1014 serum samples with malignant neoplasms were collected from six tertiary-care hospitals (HAUCM, APH, HAMU, XAH, FHH and HBMC) from January, 2012 to August, 2013. Antibodies against T. gondii were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Blood samples were subsequently used for PCR assay to detect T. gondii DNA (gra6). The DNA positive samples were subjected to genotyping using a multiplex multilocus nested PCR-RFLP at 10 loci, including sag1, sag2, sag3, btub, gra6, l358, c22-8, c29-2, pk1 and apico. Samples from the patients were anonymous and only data with regard to age and gender was available at sample collection.

Results

Overall, 8.38% (85/1014) of the examined patients showed positive antibodies against T. gondii. Among them, 61 (6.02%) were seropositive only for IgG, 16 (1.58%) were only for IgM, and 8 (0.79%) were found to be positive for both IgG and IgM. The seroprevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma ranged from 5.8% to 11.0%, without regional difference (χ 2 = 4.764, P = 0.445). No significant differences of the positive rates of T. gondii infection were noted in genders (male, 8.96%; female, 7.45%) (χ 2 = 0.707, P = 0.400) and in ages (χ 2 = 1.172, P = 0.947). Of 1014 DNA samples, 36 (3.55%) were positive for T. gondii by nested PCR at gra6 locus and nine gave rise to complete genotyping results. All samples with achieved PCR-RFLP genotyping showed a common genetic character of type Chinese 1 (ToxoDB#9).

Conclusion

Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in immunosuppressed individuals is rarely reported in China and we presented a positive rate of 8.38% in cancer patients. Toxoplasma genomic DNA genotyping demonstrated a common genetic character of Chinese 1, indicating a possible pathogenic origin of animals in human infection.

Keywords

Toxoplasma gondii Cancer patients Seroprevalence Genotyping China

Background

Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide protozoan parasite that can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is prevalent in most areas of the world and up to one-third of the human population is chronically infected, with an endemicity from around 10% to 70% and the prevalence is high in warmer and humid areas [1,2]. Food-borne transmission of T. gondii is considered to be the most important route for human infection [3,4], which occurs through the ingestion of raw or inadequately cooked meat containing tissue cysts, or of food or water contaminated by oocysts shed by felids. Moreover, infection acquired during pregnancy can be transmitted to the foetus, sometimes leading to serious consequences [5]. T. gondii infection is currently incurable because the parasite can change from the rapidly replicating tachyzoite stage to the dormant bradyzoite stage, and the latter is impervious to host immunity and also to drugs. Toxoplasmosis is fatal in the immunocompromised individuals such as cancer patients with chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS patients and organ transplant recipients [6-8]. Although the infection is usually believed to be harmless and have a benign course in immunocompetent persons, it could be indirectly responsible for deaths due to its effects on the traffic and workplace accidents, and also suicides. Moreover, latent toxoplasmosis is probably one of the most important risk factors for schizophrenia [9]. China is the first-most populous nation in the world (National Bureau of Statistics 2010) and a high rate of neoplasmas. Clinical toxoplasmosis in malignant patients in China is of great public health concern, since it can lead to the active parasitemia and life-threatening disease due to the rupture of pre-existent cysts, contributing to worsening of the clinical condition [10]. Therefore, it becomes essential to investigate the prevalence and genetic structure of T. gondii in cancer patients of China.

The frequency of seropositivity of T. gondii varies in different countries or even in different areas of a given country. Prevalence below 30% was observed in USA, Northern Europe, and South East Asia [11,12], while above 60% in the regions of tropical African and Latin America [13,14]. Moreover, T. gondii infection ranges from 8.8% to 37.3% in women of fertile age in the Indian subcontinent [15], and from 5.1% to 16.4% in populations of Kyrgyzstan, respectively [16]. Walle et al. [7] from Ethiopia reported the positive rates of 87.4% and 10.7% of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM, respectively. Previous investigation in Brazil indicated that toxoplasmic encephalitis might reach up to 40% in patients with AIDS, among them 10-30% died [17]. However, little is known in the scientific community about the epidemiology of T. gondii and the parasite genotypes in human populations and, particularly, in cancer patients of China.

The genetic diversity of T. gondii varies in different geographical regions and hosts. In North America and Europe, T. gondii is highly clonal and consists of three distinct lineages (types I, II and III). Type I strains are highly virulent to mice. The type II and III lineages are widespread throughout all continents and dominate in North America, Europe and Africa, meanwhile, type II strains are the most prevalent cause of human toxoplasmosis in both congenital infection and AIDS patients in North America and Europe [18-20]. In contrast, genetic characterization of isolates from human patients and animals in South America are genetically and biologically diverse [21], and severe toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent human patients is often associated with atypical genotypes [22]. We have previously identified limited genotypes of isolates from stray cats, pigs, sheep and chickens in China, and genotype ToxoDB#9 (termed as Chinese 1) is widespread and is likely the major T. gondii lineage circulating in animals and humans in China [23,24]. So far, neither detailed information on seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma in immunocompromised patients nor precise approaches concerning the genetic features of T. gondii isolates from humans have been uncovered in China. Genotyping studies of T. gondii in cancer patients may help reevaluate the population genetic structure, population biology and pathogenesis of this important zoonotic pathogen in China.

Herewith we examined the seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, as well as the population structure of this parasite in cancer patients, and hope to provide baseline data for the implementation of effective strategies for the control and prevention of T. gondii infection in China.

Methods

Ethical aspects

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the Institute of Biomedicine at Anhui Medical University (Approval No: 2012012). Participation in the study was voluntary without incentives. Both studies were carried out in accordance with good clinical practices; the purpose and procedures of the study were explained to all participants, and a written informed consent was obtained from each participating patient.

Participants and serum sample preparation

A total of 1014 inpatients and outpatients were enrolled in the study from 6 representative tertiary-care hospitals (The First Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine (HAUCM), Anhui Provincial Hospital (APH), the First Hospital of Anhui Medical University (HAMU), Xinan Hospital (XAH), the First Hospital of Hefei (FHH) and the First Hospital of Bengbu Medical College (HBMC)) in Anhui province, Eastern China, from May 2012 to August 2013. One sample from each patient was collected and the information such as gender and age were also obtained and matched. Approximately 5 ml of venous blood samples were drawn from each patient with informed consent. All the blood samples were labeled individually and cooled with ice packs to maintain the temperature at 4°C during transport to the laboratory. Blood samples were centrifuged and sera were recovered and transferred to 1.5 ml centrifuge tubes. The serum samples were stored at −80°C until tested for T. gondii antibodies.

Immunological test for T. gondii antibodies

All serum samples were analyzed by qualitative and quantitative methods for anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits commercially available (Haitai Biological Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd, Zhuhai, China), following the manufacturer’s instructions. Positive, negative, critical and blank controls supplied with the kit were included in each testing plate. In brief, sera diluted 1:100 were incubated in a T. gondii antigen-coated 96-well plate at 37°C for 30 min, and the plate was washed five times, then a drop of diluted HRP-labelled conjugate was added to each well. After a final washing, “A” and “B” solutions were added that are available in the kit and incubated at 37°C for 15 min. The optical density (OD) values of the test sera were corrected according to blank controls, and OD values were read using an automated microplate reader (Bio-Tek, Vermont, USA). The threshold value was determined by the mean of 3 critical controls in each test. A result equal to or greater than threshold values was considered positive.

DNA extraction and Toxoplasma gra6 amplification

Genomic DNA was extracted from the whole blood samples using the QIAamp Mini DNA kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The DNA samples were tested by nested PCR of the GRA6 gene. Briefly, 1.5 μl of DNA template was add to a final volume of 25 μl PCR mixture consisting of 12.5 μl PCR Premix Taq (TaKaRa, Dalian, China), and 1.5 μl of each of the outer primers. The amplification steps included a first cycle of denaturation at 94°C for 5 min, 35 cycles of denaturation at 94°C for 30 s, annealing at 55°C for 60 s, and extension at 72°C for 90 s, and a final extension step at 72°C for 10 min. The resulting products were diluted with equal an volume of nuclease-free water and then used as template for the nested PCR with inner primers in a total volume of 25 μl under the similar program. Each PCR set included a positive control of DNA extracted from T. gondii RH strain and a negative control of nuclease-free water. The PCR-generated products and molecular weight markers were subjected to electrophoresis on a 1.5% agarose gel, stained with ethidium bromide, and visualized under UV transilluminator (Hema, Zhuhai, China).

Genetic characterization of T. gondii in positive DNA samples

DNA samples that were positive for gra6 were subsequently genotyped by multi-locus PCR-RFLP using the genetic loci sag1, sag2, sag3, btub, gra6, c22-8, c29-2, l358, pk1 and apico [25]. Briefly, pre-amplification was carried out using a set of mixed outer primers in a single reaction. Then, multiplex PCR-amplified products were diluted 1:1 with deionized water, and then used for nested PCR amplifications with inner primers for each locus, respectively. Eight genotype references of T. gondii strains were set up as positive controls including GT1, PTG, CTG, MAS, TgCatBr5, TgCatBr64, TgCgCa1 and TgRsCr1. For each locus, the PCR mixture consisted of 12.5 μl PCR Premix Taq (TaKaRa, Dalian, China), 1 μl 10 μm forward and reverse primers, and 1.5 μl PCR-generated products in a 25 μl reaction volume. All reaction mixtures were made up to 25 μl with deionized water. The nested PCR was carried out with an annealing temperature at 60°C for 60s for all the loci. The products were digested using restriction endonucleases (Fermentas, Vilnius, Lithuania) specific for each genetic marker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The restriction fragments were visualized by electrophoresis using a 2.5%-3% agarose gel stained with ethidium bromide and photographed using a gel documentation system (Hema, Zhuhai, China).

Data analysis

Pearson Chi-Square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to investigate associations among qualitative categorical variables using SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois). All tests were 2-sided, and the level of significant difference was defined as P < 0.05.

Results

Frequency of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies

Data on 1014 cancer patients in age range of 27 to 91 years from six tertiary-care hospitals of Anhui province are presented in Tables 1, 2 and 3. The mean age of the participants was 57.44 ± 12.80 years old. Males constituted 61.6% and females accounted for 38.4%. Anti T. gondii antibodies were detectable in sera of 85 out of 1014 cases, with an overall seroprevalence of 8.38%. Among them, 61 (6.02%) patients were seropositive for only IgG, 16 (1.58%) for only IgM, and 8 (0.79%) for both IgG and IgM, with a distribution of 5.8% (6/103) in HAUCM, 11.0% (33/299) in APH, 6.6% (4/61) in HAMU, 6.0% (5/83) in XAH, 8.9% (8/90) in FHH, and 7.7% (29/378) in HBMC, respectively. No significant difference of positive rates were found in hospitals (χ 2 = 4.764, P = 0.445), or in age groups (χ 2 = 1.172, P = 0.947), or in gender (χ 2 = 0.707, P = 0.400) (Tables 1 and 2).
Table 1

Age-associated seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in cancer patients of 6 representative hospitals *

Age group

HAUCM

APH

HAMU

XAH

FHH

HBMC

No. of positive/examined

Seroprevalence (%)

0-39

4

28

2

8

7

23

5/72

6.9

40-49

19

73

12

27

17

82

18/230

7.8

50-59

21

68

15

12

21

94

19/231

8.2

60-69

35

78

16

30

29

103

25/291

8.6

70-79

20

43

13

3

15

65

14/159

8.8

≥80

4

9

3

3

1

11

4/31

12.9

Total

103

299

61

83

90

378

85/1014

8.38

* χ 2 = 1.172, p = 0.947.

Table 2

Prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii in cancer patients by gender in Eastern China *

Gender

No. examined

No. positive

Prevalence (%)

Male

625

56

8.96

Female

389

29

7.45

Total

1014

85

8.38

* χ 2 = 0.707, p = 0.400.

Table 3

The rates of positivity of T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies in different cancer patients *

Types of neoplasms

Number of patients

Positive IgG (%)

Positive IgM (%)

Lung cancer

102

7 (6.86)

3 (2.94)

Gastric carcinoma

110

6 (5.45)

2 (1.82)

Rectal carcinoma

119

8 (6.72)

2 (1.68)

Intracranial tumor

13

1 (7.69)

1 (7.69)

Lymphoma

21

1 (4.76)

1 (4.76)

Breast carcinoma

56

1 (1.79)

2 (3.57)

Hepatocellular carcinoma

220

24 (10.91)

8 (3.64)

Cervical cancer

80

9 (11.25)

2 (2.50)

Carcinoma of pancreas

23

1 (4.35)

0

Esophageal carcinoma

120

6 (5.00)

2 (1.67)

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

69

3 (4.35)

1 (1.45)

Prostatic carcinoma

13

1 (7.69)

0

Osteosarcoma

12

1 (8.33)

0

* χ 2 = 16.675, p = 0.781.

The frequencies of IgG antibodies against T. gondii are presented in Table 3, and no statistically significant difference was seen among the cancers (χ 2 = 16.675, P = 0.781). Additionally, the positive rate of Toxo-IgM antibodies was the highest in intracranial tumors (7.69%), followed by lymphoma (4.76%), and the lowest in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (1.45%).

Multilocus PCR-RFLP genotyping of T. gondii isolates

Of the 1014 DNA samples investigated, 36 (3.55%) were positive for T. gondii gra6 by PCR, including 3 from lung cancer, 3 from gastric carcinoma, 3 from rectal carcinoma, 1 from lymphoma, 18 from hepatocellular carcinoma, 5 from cervical cancer, 1 from oesophageal carcinoma, 1 from nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and 1 from osteosarcoma, distributed in 24 (2.37%) IgG-positive and 12 (1.18%) IgG-negative patients.

Nine of the 36 gra6 positive samples showed complete genotyping results, among them 7 from hepatocellular carcinoma and 2 from cervical cancer. Only one pattern of type Chinese 1 (ToxoDB#9) was identified in the 9 samples. The electrophoresis exhibited type II pattern at sag2, gra6, l358, pk1 and c22-8, but type III pattern at c29-2, sag3, and btub loci and type I pattern at the apico locus. The results of genotyping of Toxoplasma genomic DNA from humans and 8 reference strains were illustrated in Table 4 and Figure 1.
Table 4

T. gondii genotypes identified in blood of PCR positive cancer patients

Isolate ID

Host

SAG1

SAG2

SAG3

BTUB

GRA6

c22-8

c29-2

L358

PK1

Apico

Genotype

GT1

Goat

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

Reference, Type I, ToxoDB#10

PTG

Sheep

II/III

II

II

II

II

II

II

II

II

II

Reference, Type II, ToxoDB#1

CTG

Cat

II/III

III

III

III

III

III

III

III

III

III

Reference, Type III, ToxoDB#2

TgCgCa1

Cougar

Ι

II

III

II

II

II

μ-1a

Ι

μ-2a

Ι

Reference, ToxoDB#66

MAS

Human

μ-1a

II

III

III

III

μ-1a

Ι

Ι

III

Ι

Reference, ToxoDB#17

TgCatBr5

Cat

Ι

III

III

III

III

Ι

Ι

Ι

μ-1a

Ι

Reference, ToxoDB#19

TgCatBr64

Cat

Ι

μ-1a

III

III

III

μ-1a

Ι

III

III

Ι

Reference, ToxoDB#111

TgRsCr1

Toucan

μ-1a

II

III

Ι

III

μ-2a

Ι

Ι

III

Ι

Reference, ToxoDB#52

TgHuCn1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Human

μ-1a

II

III

III

II

II

III

II

II

Ι

Chinese 1, ToxoDB#9

aμ-1 and μ-2 represent unique RFLP genotypes, respectively.

Figure 1

Representative gel image of RFLP genotyping (markers SAG1, BTUB, GRA6 and L358). Sample IDs are at the top of the gel images, genotype results are at the bottom. GT1, PTG, CTG, Ca1 (TgCgCa1), MAS, Br5 (TgCatBr5), Br64 (TgCatBr64) and Cr1 (TgRsCr1) are reference strains. Cn1: TgHuCn1; Cn2: TgHuCn2; Cn3: TgHuCn3; Cn4: TgHuCn4; Cn5: TgHuCn5; Cn6: TgHuCn6; Cn7: TgHuCn7; Cn8: TgHuCn8; Cn9: TgHuCn9. MK: molecular markers.

Discussion

The human seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection is high across the world, with obvious geographical variation [26]. The majority of studies emerging from Latin American countries show significantly high rates of seropositivity, most of which had a prevalence above 60% [14]. Frequent infections are noted in Brazil from a study in pregnant women showing a prevalence of 65.1%-68.9% [27]. However, human toxoplasmosis in the United States is significantly decreased, according to the two most recent NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) studies, ranging from 22.5% to 12.4% [28,29]. Additionally, Rai et al. [30] reported a higher seroprevalence of T. gondii infection (68.7%) in Nepalese cancer patients than in those with ocular or other diseases. Similarly, high frequency of T. gondii infection has been detected among immunocompromised patients especially in those suffering from malignancy in Egypt and Korea [31,32]. In the present study, 8.38% (85/1014) of the 1014 cancer patients were seropositive for T. gondii tested by ELISA, which is relatively low compared with reports from other countries [33], and similar to the investigation in pregnant women of China, within the range of 0-10% [8]. The seroprevalence in humans varies in regions possibly due to the geographical factors, eating habits, pet-keeping and management, as well as differences in livestock farming practices. T. gondii prevalence in China was reported to be 5.2% during 1988–1992 but increased to 7.9% during 2001–2004 in two separate nationwide surveys [34], suggesting that toxoplasmosis may constitute a serious health problem in China.

The present survey did not show any significant difference in infection rates among malignancies, which differs to that reported in the previous investigation in China [6]. The high seroprevalence in cancer patients indicates a considerable risk due to the fact that the underlying latent Toxoplasma infection may be activated following long term chemotherapy leading to the compromised immunity of the patients. Obviously, a comparative study is needed to demonstrate the association of Toxoplasma infection with pathological sources of tumors and duration of chemotherapy.

In the present study, a total of 85 patients were found to be positive for antibodies against T. gondii (8.38%), which corresponds to 7.9% prevalence previously surveyed in the general Chinese population [35]. These results revealed that the frequency of Toxoplasma infection in a general hospital-based study was similar to that in a community-based study. We noted that Toxoplasma infection in malignant patients does not seem to increase progressively with age, which is similar to that shown with a previous study [33] but is in disagreement with the report from the United States [28]. The difference in target population surveyed may account for the varied results.

Genotyping of Toxoplasma isolates in humans is relatively rare due to the transient nature of parasitaemia. In toxoplasmosis, the initial dissemination of tachyzoites is usually limited to less than 20 day’s duration but this may vary according to the genotype of infected parasite and the host immune response [2]. The ability to detect T. gondii genomic DNA in clinical samples made it possible to directly type the infecting isolate obviating the need to harvest the parasite [36]. A nested PCR with its double amplification steps was used to improve the diagnostic yield and to allow for subsequent assessment of T. gondii genotypes. However, a low positive rate was found among the patients with no correlation to their serological profile. In agreement with the present results, Messaritakis et al. [37] tried to amplify gra6 from clinical samples of 290 acutely infected patients and reported positive finding in only 3.12%. Since the primary objective of the present study was genotyping, GRA6 gene was selected in view of its higher polymorphism than other described markers. Understanding T. gondii population structure is of great interest, as it may provide us with essential information regarding the transmission and evolution of this widespread zoonotic parasite, and its pathogenesis as well. Based on 10 PCR-RFLP markers, the genetic variability of T. gondii isolates from China has been revealed gradually. A total of 10 genotypes were identified, indicating limited diversity of the parasite in China, which is in sharp contrast to South America where a variety of parasite lineages are transmitted in the environment [22].

It is reported that strain genotype has been associated with clinical severity of human toxoplasmosis [38]. Type II strains have been shown to be most prevalent in congenital infection and AIDS patients in North America and Europe [20,39]. In our study, only one pattern of genotype Chinese 1 (ToxoDB#9) was identified, which has been found to be widely and predominantly distributed in animal hosts such as cats, pigs, and voles in a frequency of 73.9% in China [23,40]. Our results showed that Toxopasma DNAs of all 9 samples share the genetic pattern of type Chinese 1, which strongly suggests the pathogenic origin of human infection from animal hosts. Type Chinese1 has also been identified from Sri Lanka, Colombia, Brazil and the United States, suggesting that it might be widespread from Asia to North and South America [24]. Obviously, more studies should be carried out for deep insight into the population genetic structure of T. gondii isolates and the clinical manifestations of patients and for providing useful information for control and prevention of human toxoplasmosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii from cancer patients in China.

Conclusion

The 8.38% seropositive rate of Toxoplasma infection in Anhui province coincides with the overall prevalence in China, which is relatively low compared with that in other parts of the world. The genetic feature of Toxoplasma isolates found in cancer patients corroborates the findings of previous studies that T. gondii has a limited diversity in China. Studies on a larger number of samples from different nationalities are imperative for better understanding of the parasite genetic structure and transmission of T. gondii in China.

Notes

Declarations

Acknowledgments

This work was financially supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2010CB530001), National Science Foundation of China (No. 81471983), Research Fund for the Natural Science Foundation of Universities of Anhui Province (No. KJ2013B111) and the Science Foundation for Young Scholars of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine (2015qn019). We acknowledge Dr. C. Su at the Department of Microbiology, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee for kindly providing with all the reference strains. Moreover, we especially thank our colleagues who significantly contributed to sample collections.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Clinical Laboratory, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine
(2)
Department of Parasitology, Provincial Laboratory of Microbiology & Parasitology and the Key Laboratory of Zoonoses Anhui, Anhui Medical University
(3)
Department of Medical Technology, Anhui Medical College
(4)
Clinical Laboratory, Anhui Tumour Hospital, West Campus of Affiliated Provincial Hospital of Anhui Medical University
(5)
Clinical Laboratory, the First People’s Hospital

References

  1. Dubey JP. Toxoplasmosis of animals and humans. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2010. p. 313.Google Scholar
  2. Robert-Gangneux F, Darde ML. Epidemiology of and diagnostic strategies for toxoplasmosis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2012;25:264–96.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hill D, Dubey JP. Toxoplasma gondii: transmission, diagnosis and prevention. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2002;8:634–40.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Elmore SA, Jones JL, Conrad PA, Patton S, Lindsay DS, Dubey JP. Toxoplasma gondii: epidemiology, feline clinical aspects, and prevention. Trends Parasitol. 2010;26:190–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Xu X, Liu T, Zhang A, Huo X, Luo Q, Chen Z, et al. Reactive oxygen species-triggered trophoblast apoptosis is initiated by endoplasmic reticulum stress via activation of caspase-12, CHOP, and the JNK pathway in Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice. Infect Immun. 2012;80:2121–32.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Yuan Z, Gao S, Liu Q, Xia X, Liu X, Liu B, et al. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in cancer patients. Cancer Lett. 2007;254:71–4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Walle F, Kebede N, Tsegaye A, Kassa T. Seroprevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasmosis in HIV infected and non-infected individuals in Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia. Parasit Vectors. 2013;6:15.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gao XJ, Zhao ZJ, He ZH, Wang T, Yang TB, Chen XG, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnant women in China. Parasitol. 2012;139:139–47.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  9. Flegr J. How and why Toxoplasma makes us crazy. Trends Parasitol. 2013;29:156–63.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dubey JP. History of the discovery of the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii. Int J Parasitol. 2009;39:877–82.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Allain JP, Palmer CR, Pearson G. Epidemiological study of latent and recent infection by Toxoplasma gondii in pregnant women from a regional population in the U.K. J Infect. 1998;36:189–96.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Dubey JP, Jones JL. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans and animals in the United States. Int J Parasitol. 2008;38:1257–78.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fernandes GC, Azevedo RS, Amaku M, Yu AL, Massad E. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma infection in a metropolitan region of Brazil. Epidemiol Infect. 2009;137:1809–15.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Pappas G, Roussos N, Falagas ME. Toxoplasmosis snapshots: global status of Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence and implications for pregnancy and congenital toxoplasmosis. Int J Parasitol. 2009;39:1385–94.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Singh S, Munawwar A, Rao S, Mehta S, Hazarika NK. Serologic prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Indian women of child bearing age and effects of social and environmental factors. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014;8:e2737.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Minbaeva G, Schweiger A, Bodosheva A, Kuttubaev O, Hehl AB, Tanner I, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in Kyrgyzstan: seroprevalence, risk factor analysis, and estimate of congenital and AIDS-related toxoplasmosis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7:e2043.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Vidal JE, Colombo FA, de Oliveira ACP, Focaccia R, Pereira-Chioccola VL. PCR assay using cerebrospinal fluid for diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis in Brazilian AIDS patients. J Clin Microbiol. 2004;42:4765–8.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Mercier A, Devillard S, Ngoubangoye B, Bonnabau H, Banuls AL, Durand P, et al. Additional haplogroups of Toxoplasma gondii out of Africa: population structure and mouse-virulence of strains from Gabon. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010;4:e876.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Velmurugan GV, Dubey JP, Su C. Genotyping studies of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Africa revealed that the archetypal clonal lineages predominate as in North America and Europe. Vet Parasitol. 2008;155:314–8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Ajzenberg D, Cogne N, Paris L, Bessieres MH, Thulliez P, Filisetti D, et al. Genotype of 86 Toxoplasma gondii isolates associated with human congenital toxoplasmosis, and correlation with clinical findings. J Infect Dis. 2002;186:684–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Khan A, Dubey JP, Su C, Ajioka JW, Rosenthal BM, Sibley LD. Genetic analyses of atypical Toxoplasma gondii strains reveal a fourth clonal lineage in North America. Int J Parasitol. 2011;41:645–55.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Carme B, Bissuel F, Ajzenberg D, Bouyne R, Aznar C, Demar M, et al. Severe acquired toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent adult patients in French Guiana. J Clin Microbiol. 2002;40:4037–44.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang L, Cheng HW, Huang KQ, Xu YH, Li YN, Du J, et al. Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in food animals and rodents in different regions of China: isolation, genotyping and mouse pathogenicity. Parasit Vectors. 2013;6:273.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang L, Chen H, Liu D, Huo X, Gao J, Song X, et al. Genotypes and mouse virulence of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from animals and humans in China. PLoS One. 2013;8:e53483.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Su C, Shwab EK, Zhou P, Zhu XQ, Dubey JP. Moving towards an integrated approach to molecular detection and identification of Toxoplasma gondii. Parasitol. 2010;137:1–11.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  26. Flegr J, Preiss M, Klose J, Havlicek J, Vitakova M, Kodym P. Decreased level of psychobiological factor novelty seeking and lower intelligence in men latently infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii Dopamine, a missing link between schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis? Biol Psychol. 2003;63:253–68.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Lago EG, Conrado GS, Piccoli CS, Carvalho RL, Bender AL. Toxoplasma gondii antibody profile in HIV-infected pregnant women and the risk of congenital toxoplasmosis. Eur J Clin Microbiol. 2009;28:345–51.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  28. Jones JL, Kruszon-Moran D, Wilson M, McQuillan G, Navin T, McAuley JB. Toxoplasma gondii infection in the United States: seroprevalence and risk factors. Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154:357–65.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Jones JL, Kruszon-Moran D, Rivera H, Price C, Wilkins PP. Toxoplasma gondii Seroprevalence in the United States 2009–2010 and Comparison with the Past Two Decades. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014;90:1135–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Rai SK, Upadhyay MP, Shrestha HG. Toxoplasma infection in selected patients in Kathmandu, Nepal. NMCJ. 2003;5:89–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Baiomy AM, Mohamed KA, Ghannam MA, Shahat SA, Al-Saadawy AS. Opportunistic parasitic infections among immunocompromised Egyptian patients. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2010;40:797–808.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Shin DW, Cha DY, Hua QJ, Cha GH, Lee YH. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and characteristics of seropositive patients in general hospitals in Daejeon, Korea. Korean J Parasitol. 2009;47:125–30.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Yazar S, Yaman O, Eser B, Altuntas F, Kurnaz F, Sahin I. Investigation of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in patients with neoplasia. J Med Microbiol. 2004;53:1183–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhou P, Chen Z, Li HL, Zheng H, He S, Lin RQ, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans in China. Parasit Vectors. 2011;4:165.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhou P, Chen N, Zhang RL, Lin RQ, Zhu XQ. Food-borne parasitic zoonoses in China: perspective for control. Trends Parasitol. 2008;24:190–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Switaj K, Master A, Borkowski PK, Skrzypczak M, Wojciechowicz J, Zaborowski P. Association of ocular toxoplasmosis with type I Toxoplasma gondii strains: direct genotyping from peripheral blood samples. J Clin Microbiol. 2006;44:4262–4.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Messaritakis I, Detsika M, Koliou M, Sifakis S, Antoniou M. Prevalent genotypes of Toxoplasma gondii in pregnant women and patients from Crete and Cyprus. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008;79:205–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Howe DK, Sibley LD. Toxoplasma gondii comprises three clonal lineages: correlation of parasite genotype with human disease. J Infect Dis. 1995;172:1561–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Ajzenberg D, Yera H, Marty P, Paris L, Dalle F, Menotti J, et al. Genotype of 88 Toxoplasma gondii isolates associated with toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients and correlation with clinical findings. J Infect Dis. 2009;199:1155–67.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Li M, Mo XW, Wang L, Chen H, Luo QL, Wen HQ, et al. Phylogeny and virulence divergency analyses of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from China. Parasit Vectors. 2014;7:133.View ArticlePubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Advertisement