Recent reports of toxoplasmosis in marine mammals raise concern that cold-blooded marine animals are a potential source of Toxoplasma gondii infection. To examine the transmissibility of T. gondii to fish, we observed the development of T. gondii tachyzoites inoculated into oviduct epithelial cells of goldfish (Carassius auratus) microscopically in vitro. Further, the survival period of tachyzoites inoculated into goldfish muscle was bioassayed in mice and through PCR analysis. In cell cultures at 37 C, both RH and Beverley strains of T. gondii tachyzoites had penetrated into cells at 6 hr post inoculation, and were multiplying. In cell cultures at 33 C, many tachyzoites of both strains attached to the host cells, but no intracellular tachyzoites were observed at 24 hr post inoculation. In the T. gondii inoculated goldfish kept at 33 C, tachyzoite DNA was detected in the inoculated region on day 3, but not on day 7. When inoculated goldfish were kept at 37 C, live tachyzoites were seen at the inoculation site on day 3, but not on day 7. These results suggest that T. gondii does not persist in fish.
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Vol. 91 • No. 6