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Description of an atypical Toxoplasma gondii isolate from a case of congenital toxoplasmosis in northeastern Brazil


We report a case of severe congenital toxoplasmosis that involved an atypical T. gondii genotype in a newborn baby from Alagoas state in Northeastern Brazil. A pregnant woman presented IgM and IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies, as detected by the chemiluminescence immunoassay on the second trimester of pregnancy. A mouse bioassay was performed using umbilical cord blood and one isolate was obtained. The isolate was designated TgCTBrAL1 and genetic characterization revealed genotype ToxoDB #162. Genotype results of the rhoptry genes, ROP5 and ROP18, could predict the high virulence of the isolate in mice, which was confirmed by an in vivo virulence assay. This is the first report of generating a T. gondii isolate from a newborn baby with congenital toxoplasmosis in Northeastern Brazil.

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We thank the Obstetrics Department of Professor Alberto Antunes University Hospital, Laboratory of Clinical Analysis of Universidade Federal de Alagoas, especially to Dr. Arliete Ramos Sales Mendes de Barros for the support in collecting the samples.


We would like to thank Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Brazil, for the scholarship (SWE–Grant number 206740/2017-4) and Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco (FACEPE) for the PhD scholarship (IBPG-1358-5.05./15).

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Correspondence to Renata Pimentel Bandeira de Melo.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Section Editor: Dana Mordue

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de Melo, R.P.B., Wanderley, F.S., Porto, W.J.N. et al. Description of an atypical Toxoplasma gondii isolate from a case of congenital toxoplasmosis in northeastern Brazil. Parasitol Res 119, 2727–2731 (2020).

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  • Genotyping
  • Mouse bioassay
  • Newborn
  • Virulence