7.5 Professor Hugh Perry                                                                                 Back

Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite of man and animals. Infection is man is widespread but does not cause clinical problems except in the fetus, in pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals. With the increasing prevalence of AIDS world-wide T. gondii infection has taken on an increasing importance. There will be two lectures on T.gondii and its pathological consequences.

Lecture 1

In this lecture you will learn about the cell biology and life cycle of the parasite Toxoplama gondii first described in 1908 and only relatively recently recognised as a serious pathogen. 


Pfefferkorn, E. (1990) Cell Biology of Toxoplasma gondii. In: Modern

Parasite Biology. Cellular, Immunological and Molecular Aspects (ed

D.J. Wyler). pp 26-50.

Zaman, V., and Keang, L.A. (1990) Handbook of Medical Parasitology 2nd

edition. pp 70-80.

McLeod, R., Mack, D. and Brown, C. (1991) Toxoplasma gondii: New advances in cellular and molecular biology. Exp. Parasitiol. 72, 109-121.

Web site

Ajioka JW, Fitzpatrick JM, Reitter CP (2001) Toxoplasma godii genomics:
shedding light on pathogenesis and chemotherapt. Expert Reviews in
Molecular Medicine. www-ermm.cbcu.cam.ac.uk

Lecture 2. 

Following acute infection by T. gondii the parasite may establish a chronic infection in skeletal muscle, heart and brain. You will learn about the immune response to T. gondii, and the importance of cell mediated immunity in protecting the host. The infection in the brain poses problems of particular interest since this is a site with partial immune privilege and you will learn about the immune response in this organ.

Web site:

Coppens I, Joiner KA (2001) Parasite-host interactions in toplasmosis:new avenues for intervention? Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine   www-ermm.cbcu.cam.ac.uk


Sharma, S.D. (1990) Immunology of toxoplasmosis. In: Modern Parasite Biology Cellular, Immunological and Molecular Aspects (ed D.J. Wyler). pp 184-199.

Suzuki, Y., Conley, F.K. and Remington, J.S. (1989) Importance of endogenous IFN-for prevention of toxoplasmic encephalitis in mice. J. Immunol. 143, 2045-2050.

Fagard, R., van Tan, H. Creuzet, C. and Pelloux, H. (1999) Differential development of Toxoplama gondii in neural cells. Parasitology Today 15, 504-507.

Lipton SA (!992) Models of neuronal injury in AIDS: another role for the NMDA receptor. Trends Neurosci. 15, 75-79.

Perry, V.H. & Gordon, S. (1988) Macrophages and microglia in the nervous system. Trends in Neurosci. 273-277.

 Prof. Hugh Perry 2006