Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from a feral guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) and domestic rabbits (Oryctologus cuniculus) from Brazil for the first time. Serum and brains from 10 guinea fowl and 21 rabbits from Brazil were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 2 of 10 fowl and 2 of 21 rabbits by the modified agglutination test (titer 1∶25 or higher). Viable T. gondii (designated TgNmBr1) was isolated from 1 of the 2 seropositive fowl by bioassay in mice but not from the 8 seronegative fowl by bioassay in cat. Viable T. gondii was isolated from both seropositive rabbits (designated TgRabbitBr1, TgRabbitBr2) by bioassay in mice from 1 and by bioassay in cat from the other. The TgRabbitBr1 strain was highly virulent for out-bred mice; mice fed 1 infective oocyst died of acute toxoplasmosis. The remaining 2 isolates were relatively avirulent for mice; lethal dose for mice was 10,000 oocysts. All 3 isolates were grown in cell culture, and tachyzoite-derived DNA were genotyped using 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). The TgNmBr1 was found to be clonal Type II, a rare finding in Brazil in any host. The rabbit isolates were atypical, similar to isolates from cats from Brazil (TgRabbitBr1 was identical to TgCatBr5, and TgRabbitBr2 was identical to TgCatBr1, a common genotype in Brazil denoted type BrII). This is the first genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from the rabbits and guinea fowl in Brazil and the first host record for T. gondii in the guinea fowl.
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