Special Issue "Toxoplasma gondii Infection"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Despina G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis, MD

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Room G312 Stanford, CA, 94301, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: new insights in pathogenesis; new evidence on the epidemiology of T. gondii strains and toxoplasma infections; novel diagnostics; empirical data on the clinical spectrum of disease; toxoplasmosis outcomes and effectiveness of preventive/therapeutic strategies; novel drugs; vaccines

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite with worldwide distribution. Primary infection can result in severe ocular disease in immunocompetent people, in significant neurologic and ocular sequelae in congenitally infected fetuses and children and, in certain tropical areas, in community-acquired pneumonia, disseminated disease, and even death among otherwise healthy individuals. In addition, reactivation of chronic infection can occur in severely immunosuppressed individuals and cause life-threatening disease. Chronic infection may have more long-term consequences than thought previously; several investigators are addressing the possible impact of latent infection on psychiatric disorders and abnormal behaviors. In this Special Issue of Pathogens on T. gondii infections, we would like to invite you to submit original or review articles related to any of the following areas:

  1. Pathogenesis of gondii Infections: Molecular analysis of T. gondii during different stages of the disease (latent vs. acute infection); pathogen–host interactions; Immunoprofiling during acute and/or chronic T. gondii infections; molecular analysis of the pathogenesis of T. gondii infection; chemokine, small molecule analysis during T. gondii infections
  2. Epidemiology of gondii Strains: Prevalence of diverse T. gondii strains (clonal analyses) in different parts of the world; virulence of T. gondii infections according to T. gondii strains; detection of T. gondii strains in different body fluids (e.g., saliva; sperm etc.) in different species, including humans.
  3. Epidemiology of Toxoplasmosis: Epidemiology of acute gondii infections in different parts of the world; T. gondii seroprevalence; epidemiology of outbreaks of acute T. gondii infections (community and family outbreaks); epidemiology of severe cases and/or atypical cases; epidemiology of acute T. gondii infections during gestation; epidemiology of acute T. gondii infections in immunocompromised host; epidemiology of mother to child transmission of T. gondii infections; epidemiology of congenital toxoplasmosis; epidemiology of T. gondii infections and neuropsychiatric diseases
  4. Epidemiology of gondii in Meat Destined for Human Consumption: Seroprevalence and/or molecular analyses for T.gondii.
  5. Diagnostics: Novel serologic or molecular diagnostics to differentiate between sporozoite vs. bradyzoite associated infections.; point of care tests for serologic diagnosis of acute vs. chronic gondii infections; novel diagnostic platforms for T. gondii infections; empirical evaluations of existing diagnostic techniques (serologic and/or molecular); serologic profiles according to implicated T. gondii strains; empirical evaluation of different imaging approaches in different clinical scenarios.
  6. Clinical Spectrum of Disease: Clinical spectrum of gondii infections/disease ; clinical spectrum of disease (severity of disease) according to implicated T. gondii strains; case series/case reports/reviews of clinical spectrum of disease in immunocompetent and/or immunocompromised patients;
  7. Prognosis: Long term outcomes of acute toxoplasmosis (e.g. eye disease); long term outcomes of congenital toxoplasmosis (e.g., ocular, neurologic, developmental outcomes).
  8. Prevention/Treatment: Meta-analyses of clinical trials or observational studies/clinical trials or observational studies/case series/case reports of clinical outcomes according to different prophylactic or therapeutic regiments. Cost-Effectiveness Analyses for prenatal screening and treatment for toxoplasmosis during gestation and/or neonatal screening.
  9. Drugs: Experimental/pre-clinical/clinical work of novel therapeutic approaches.
  10. Vaccines (empirical data or reviews): Vaccine for food animals and/or cats, to prevent animal to human transmission; vaccine for humans (e.g. to prevent disease during pregnancy and/or in immunocompromised patients).

Prof. Dr. Despina Contopoulos-Ioannidis, MD
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gondii strains
  • gondii infections
  • Pathogenesis
  • Epidemiology
  • Diagnostics
  • Clinical spectrum and outcomes
  • Preventive/therapeutic strategies; novel drugs; vaccines
  • Cost-effectiveness analyses
  • Experimental preclinical data
  • Clinical data
  • Review

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle IgG Avidity Test in Congenital Toxoplasmosis Diagnoses in Newborns
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 June 2017 / Published: 18 June 2017
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Abstract
The goal of this study was to investigate the importance of IgG avidity testing in newborns (NBs) diagnosed with early congenital toxoplasmosis. We collected samples from 88 puerperae infected by Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and their NBs (48 acutely-infected puerperae (AIP) and 40
[...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to investigate the importance of IgG avidity testing in newborns (NBs) diagnosed with early congenital toxoplasmosis. We collected samples from 88 puerperae infected by Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and their NBs (48 acutely-infected puerperae (AIP) and 40 chronically-infected puerperae (CIP)), from two public maternity hospitals in Goiania city, Goias, Brazil, from 2010 to 2015. Specific anti-T. gondii IgM and IgG serum levels and IgG avidity tests were evaluated using chemiluminescence. Congenital toxoplasmosis was observed in 66.66% (n = 32) of NBs with AIP, 94.1% presenting low avidity (LA) and 51.61% presenting high avidity (HA) test results. The IgG and IgM levels of NBs with LA and their puerperae were higher in comparison with HA NBs and puerperae (p = 0.0001). The avidity tests showed 100% specificity and 50% sensitivity (p = 0.0001). NBs with LA had a 15-fold increased risk of developing congenital toxoplasmosis in comparison with HA NBs. The IgG avidity test could be used to assist in early congenital toxoplasmosis diagnoses in NBs and LA, identifying a greater probability of vertical transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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Open AccessCommunication Toxoplasma gondii in the Food Supply
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the
[...] Read more.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the child such as mental retardation and blindness. Infection with T. gondii in immunocompetent adults can lead to impaired eyesight. Toxoplasmosis has ranked very highly in two studies of death and disability attributable to foodborne pathogens. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat containing T. gondii tissue cysts and the consumption of raw vegetables or water contaminated with T. gondii oocysts from cat feces is most frequently associated with human illness. The risk of acquiring a Toxoplasma infection via food varies with cultural and eating habits in different human populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Neurophysiological Changes Induced by Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
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Abstract
Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant,
[...] Read more.
Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant, although several studies have found correlations of infection with an array of host behavioral changes. These may facilitate parasite transmission and impact neurological diseases. During infection, in addition to the presence of the parasites within neurons, host-mediated neuroimmune and hormonal responses to infection are also present. T. gondii induces numerous changes to host neurons during infection and globally alters host neurological signaling pathways, as discussed in this review. Understanding the neurophysiological changes in the host brain is imperative to understanding the parasitic mechanisms and to delineate the effects of this single-celled parasite on health and its contribution to neurological disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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Open AccessReview Is Toxoplasma gondii a Trigger of Bipolar Disorder?
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii, a ubiquitous intracellular parasite, has a strong tropism for the brain tissue, where it forms intracellular cysts within the neurons and glial cells, establishing a chronic infection. Although latent toxoplasmosis is generally assumed to be asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals, it
[...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii, a ubiquitous intracellular parasite, has a strong tropism for the brain tissue, where it forms intracellular cysts within the neurons and glial cells, establishing a chronic infection. Although latent toxoplasmosis is generally assumed to be asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals, it is now clear that it can induce behavioral manipulations in mice and infected humans. Moreover, a strong relation has emerged in recent years between toxoplasmosis and psychiatric disorders. The link between T. gondii and schizophrenia has been the most widely documented; however, a significant association with bipolar disorder (BD) and suicidal/aggressive behaviors has also been detected. T. gondii may play a role in the etiopathogenesis of psychiatric disorders affecting neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, that are implicated in the emergence of psychosis and behavioral Toxoplasma-induced abnormalities, and inducing brain inflammation by the direct stimulation of inflammatory cytokines in the central nervous system. Besides this, there is increasing evidence for a prominent role of immune dysregulation in psychosis and BD. The aim of this review is to describe recent evidence suggesting a link between Toxoplasma gondii and BD, focusing on the interaction between immune responses and this infectious agent in the etiopathogenesis of psychiatric symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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Other

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Open AccessFeature PaperOpinion Congenital Toxoplasmosis: A Plea for a Neglected Disease
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Maternal infection by Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy may have serious consequences for the fetus, ranging from miscarriage, central nervous system involvement, retinochoroiditis, or subclinical infection at birth with a risk of late onset of ocular diseases. As infection in pregnant women is usually
[...] Read more.
Maternal infection by Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy may have serious consequences for the fetus, ranging from miscarriage, central nervous system involvement, retinochoroiditis, or subclinical infection at birth with a risk of late onset of ocular diseases. As infection in pregnant women is usually symptomless, the diagnosis relies only on serological tests. Some countries like France and Austria have organized a regular serological testing of pregnant women, some others have no prenatal program of surveillance. Reasons for these discrepant attitudes are many and debatable. Among them are the efficacy of antenatal treatment and cost-effectiveness of such a program. A significant body of data demonstrated that rapid onset of treatment after maternal infection reduces the risk and severity of fetal infection. Recent cost-effectiveness studies support regular screening. This lack of consensus put both pregnant women and care providers in a difficult situation. Another reason why congenital toxoplasmosis is disregarded in some countries is the lack of precise information about its impact on the population. Precise estimations on the burden of the disease can be achieved by systematic screening that will avoid bias or underreporting of cases and provide a clear view of its outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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