UNIT 19.3 Animal Models for Toxoplasma gondii Infection

  1. Carlos Subauste1,
  2. Jack Remington2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1903s28

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Subauste, C. and Remington, J. 2001. Animal Models for Toxoplasma gondii Infection. Current Protocols in Immunology. 28:19.3:19.3.1–19.3.18.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio

  2. 2

    Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: DEC 1998

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 FEB 2012)


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan that commonly infects mammals and birds throughout the world. This unit describes murine models of acute T. gondii infection and toxoplasmic encephalitis. T. gondii infection in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, which lack T and B cells, has allowed for the study of T cell-independent mechanisms of defense against intracellular organisms, as described here. The establishment of temperature-sensitive mutant strains of T. gondii has allowed adoptive-transfer experiments without the concern for the transfer of the parasite at the same time. The temperature-sensitive mutant ts-4 strain disappears from tissues of immunocompetent mice without forming tissue cysts and induces protection against challenge with virulent strains of the parasite, and a protocol is provided for infection with this mutant strain. Support protocols present methodology for evaluation of progression of infection and immune response to the parasite, maintenance of T. gondii tissue cysts and tachyzoites, as well as preparation of T. gondii lysate antigens.