Presentation Title

Latent Toxoplasmosis cyst variability in the murine model: a review of methodologies and specific challenges

Presenter Information

Gabrielle WatsonFollow

Advisor Information

Paul Davis

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

2-3-2018 12:45 PM

End Date

2-3-2018 1:00 PM

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that infects approximately 30% of the population of the United States. Natural transmission in humans is typically acquired from oral exposure, primarily through consumption of cysts and oocysts in undercooked, infected meat or contaminated water and vegetables. Immunocompromised individuals are at high risk of symptomatic presentation of the disease due to dormant intracellular brain cysts which can reactivate and potentially cause lethal degradation of brain tissue. The latent infection has attracted much attention with a possible link to behavioral alteration, psychomotor retardation and increased incidence of mental illness. Murine models are typically used to establish and monitor the latent infection in response to experimental treatment with limited success. Many studies will contain a larger standard deviation than mean, indicating large variance in cyst number found within experimental groups of mice infected with identical methods. This inconsistency makes interpretation of statistical significance difficult and possibly efficacious compounds lost to noise in the model. Factors such as parasite infection strain, mouse strain, mode of infection, infectious dose, mode of infection, and quantification method were all examined. The lowest variation in measured cyst burden were seen in models with Balb/c and Kunming strain mice with infection by ME49 and PRU T. gondii strain respectively. A summary of cyst variation in T. gondii mouse models can be used to design future experiments that will yield more actionable results.

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Mar 2nd, 12:45 PM Mar 2nd, 1:00 PM

Latent Toxoplasmosis cyst variability in the murine model: a review of methodologies and specific challenges

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that infects approximately 30% of the population of the United States. Natural transmission in humans is typically acquired from oral exposure, primarily through consumption of cysts and oocysts in undercooked, infected meat or contaminated water and vegetables. Immunocompromised individuals are at high risk of symptomatic presentation of the disease due to dormant intracellular brain cysts which can reactivate and potentially cause lethal degradation of brain tissue. The latent infection has attracted much attention with a possible link to behavioral alteration, psychomotor retardation and increased incidence of mental illness. Murine models are typically used to establish and monitor the latent infection in response to experimental treatment with limited success. Many studies will contain a larger standard deviation than mean, indicating large variance in cyst number found within experimental groups of mice infected with identical methods. This inconsistency makes interpretation of statistical significance difficult and possibly efficacious compounds lost to noise in the model. Factors such as parasite infection strain, mouse strain, mode of infection, infectious dose, mode of infection, and quantification method were all examined. The lowest variation in measured cyst burden were seen in models with Balb/c and Kunming strain mice with infection by ME49 and PRU T. gondii strain respectively. A summary of cyst variation in T. gondii mouse models can be used to design future experiments that will yield more actionable results.