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Most human infections with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are asymptomatic, but severe symptoms can occur in immunocompromised patients, in developing foetuses, and in ocular infections in immunocompetent individuals. The majority of T. gondii strains can be divided into three main lineages, denoted types I, II and III, which are known to cause different clinical presentations. Simple molecular methods with the capacity to discriminate rapidly among strains may help to predict the course of infection and influence the choice of treatment. In the present study, real-time PCR followed by pyrosequencing was used to discriminate among types I, II and III by analysis of two single nucleotide polymorphisms in the GRA6 gene. Twenty-one isolates of T. gondii characterised previously were analysed. Three different GRA6 alleles detected by the pyrosequencing technique identified types I, II and III isolates correctly, while four atypical isolates possessed either the GRA6 allele 1 or the GRA6 allele 3. Reproducibility was 100%, and typeability, when including atypical strains, was 81%. It was also possible to discriminate a mixture of two genotypes. The method was used to identify GRA6 type II in blood and lung tissue from an allogeneic transplant recipient with toxoplasmosis.


Journal article


Clin Microbiol Infect

Publication Date





424 - 429


Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, DNA, Protozoan, Female, Genotype, Humans, Middle Aged, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Protozoan Proteins, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Toxoplasma