Abstract / Description of output
Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan parasite, is one of the major causes of infectious abortion in sheep. To further understand the pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis, serum, amniotic and allantoic fluids and foetal stomach contents were collected from experimentally infected pregnant ewes to determine pathogen numbers and other markers of infection. Fifteen pregnant ewes (90 days of gestation) were each orally inoculated with 3000 sporulated oocysts of T. gondii. Serum samples were collected weekly following challenge. Amniotic and allantoic fluids and foetal stomach contents were collected at 21, 25, 28, 33 and 35 days post-infection. Characteristic placental lesions were detected in 1 of 4 challenged ewes at day 25, 3 of 4 challenged ewes at day 28 and in all challenged ewes at days 33 and 35 post-infection. T. gondii was detected only sporadically in amniotic and allantoic fluids before 35 days of infection, by real-time PCR, and only in ewes with placental lesions. At 35 days post-infection, high numbers of parasite were detected in both amniotic and allantoic fluids. An increase in the number of fluids from challenged animals with IgM and IgG was detected over time, except for IgG in allantoic fluid, which was detected in all samples from day 21 post-infection. IgG in amniotic and allantoic fluids was shown to be specific for T. gondii, and reacted with antigens with an apparent molecular mass of approximately 22. kDa and 30. kDa. Results suggest a maternal source of immunoglobulin in the allantoic fluid and a foetal source of immunoglobulin in the amniotic fluid early in infection but that both sources may contribute immunoglobulin to both fluids at a later stage.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- Amniotic and allantoic fluid
- Toxoplasma gondii