Non-archetypal Type II-like and atypical strains of Toxoplasma gondii infecting marsupials of Australia

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Journal Article
International Journal for Parasitology, 2010, 40 (6), pp. 635 - 640
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Australia is geographically isolated and possesses a remarkable diversity of wildlife species. Marsupials are highly susceptible to infection with the cosmopolitan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Of 46 marsupials screened for T. gondii by multilocus PCR-DNA sequencing at polymorphic genes (B1, SAG3, GRA6, GRA7), 12 were PCR-positive; the majority (67%; 9/12) were infected by non-archetypal Type II-like or atypical strains. Six novel alleles were detected at B1, indicating greater diversity of genotypes than previously envisaged. Two isolates lethal to marsupials, were avirulent to mice. The data support the conclusion that Australia's isolation may have favoured the persistence of non-archetypal ancestral genotypes. © 2010.
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