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Papers And Originals

Coccidian-like Nature of Toxoplasma gondii

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: (Published 17 January 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:142
  1. W. M. Hutchison,
  2. J. F. Dunachie,
  3. J. Chr. Siim,
  4. K. Work


    Specific pathogen-free domestic cats were fed with tissue cysts containing Toxoplasma gondii. In two infected cats large numbers of oocysts were produced in the faeces; no oocysts were observed in the faeces of the uninfected control cat. Five days after the feeding of the toxoplasms profuse schizogonic and gametogonic stages were observed in the epithelial cells of the small intestine of one infected cat. A single schizont was observed in an intestinal epithelial cell of a second cat six days after being fed the tissue cysts. There was no evidence of schizogony or gametogony in the uninfected control cat. The stages observed in the intestinal epithelium are identical with those of the well-known endogenous cycles of coccidian parasites. The appearance of these stages, together with the nature of the oocyst, indicates that T. gondii is a coccidian parasite closely related to the genus Isospora.