Wild-caught eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) initially seronegative to Toxoplasma gondii, were inoculated orally with approximately 100 T. gondii oocysts. The bandicoots were maintained in indoor pens under laboratory conditions and observed daily. Serial blood samples were tested for agglutinating antibodies to T. gondii. Inoculated bandicoots died 15 and 17 days post infection. A rise in Direct Agglutination Test (DAT) titres was detected at the time of death (1:256, 1:64 respectively). Clinical observations, serological changes, gross findings at necropsy, and histopathological changes were consistent with acute toxoplasmosis. The findings indicate that eastern barred bandicoots are likely to die from primary T. gondii infection, often even before detectable antibodies are produced, reinforcing the significance of toxoplasmosis as a potential contributor to the reduction in numbers of wild populations of eastern barred bandicoots.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1