The tachyzoite-induced cycle of Toxoplasma gondii was studied in 46 cats. Tachyzoites of the M-7741 or Me-49 strain of T. gondii were administered orally to cats by pouring into the mouth or by stomach tube, or by intraintestinal inoculation. Ten weaned cats that had been inoculated with tachyzoites directly in the intestine were killed 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, or 25 days later, and their tissues were studied histologically and bioassayed in mice. Toxoplasma gondii was demonstrable in the blood of 8 cats and in other tissues of all these 10. Four out of five 1- to 8-day-old cats fed tachyzoites by stomach tube became infected with T. gondii, and 1 became ill because of toxoplasmosis. All 19 weaned cats fed tachyzoites (poured into the mouth) became infected, and 6 died of acute toxoplasmosis 9–15 days after being fed T. gondii. Six out of 12 weaned cats fed tachyzoites by stomach tube became infected but were asymptomatic. Overall, 12 out of 26 cats observed for 19 days or more shed oocysts with a prepatent period (pp) of 19 days or more, with the sole exception of 1 cat that shed oocysts with a pp of 5 days. Entero-epithelial stages of T. gondii were not found in any cat before oocysts were shed. Cats shed up to 360 million oocysts in a day, and oocysts were shed for 4–6 days.
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