An experimental feeding study was designed to assess the role of earthworms in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii infection to eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii). Six animals with no agglutinating antibodies to T. gondii were fed artificially cultured earthworms that had been maintained in autoclaved nutrient-enriched soil. Two animals were given earthworms that had been maintained in soil contaminated with T. gondii oocysts (P89/VEG strain); two animals were fed on earthworms, which initially had been exposed to soil containing T. gondii oocysts then transferred through three changes of sterile soil; two control bandicoots were fed earthworms maintained in sterile soil. Both bandicoots fed earthworms maintained in T. gondii contaminated soil died 11 and 14 days after feeding. The necropsy findings were consistent with acute toxoplasmosis. Bandicoots fed earthworms exposed to oocysts but then transferred through changes of sterilized soil remained healthy as did control animals. All surviving animals remained seronegative over the 6 wk observation period after feeding. These findings confirm that earthworms, a major component of the natural diet of P. gunnii, can transmit T. gondii infection. It appears that oocysts present in the alimentary tracts of the worms, rather than infective stages of T. gondii in worm somatic tissues, are responsible for these infections.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 36 • No. 1