Dictionary > Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii

Definition
noun
A parasitic protozoon of the taxonomic family Sarcocystidae that causes toxoplasmosis
Supplement
Toxoplasma gondii is the only species in the genus Toxoplasma. It is of science and medical importance because it causes toxoplasmosis in humans and many warm-blooded animals. It is an obligate intracellular parasite. Its definitive host are felids such as domestic cats. Its infective stage is the oocysts containing the pathogen in the faeces of cats, usually by contaminated soil, direct exposure to infected faeces, tissue cysts in infected meat or tachyzoites (proliferating forms) in blood. The species was first found in Ctenodactylus gondi (gundi) and named by Nicolle and Manceaux in 1908. Subsequent discoveries of similar organisms parasitizing other animals were later on regarded as only a single species based on the similarity of structure and nonspecificity for hosts.1 The life cycle of the species may be divided into two phases: sexual and asexual. The sexual phase occurs only in the intestines of felids whereas the asexual phase occurs in warm-blooded animals, such as humans, cats, and birds.
Word origin: Ancient Greek tóxon (“bow”) + plásma (“something molded, bow-shaped form”)
Scientific classification:

  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Phylum: Apicomplexa
  • Class: Conoidasida
  • Order: Eucoccidiorida
  • Family: Sarcocystidae
  • Subfamily: Toxoplasmatinae
  • Genus: Toxoplasma Nicolle & Manceaux, 1909
  • Species: Toxoplasma gondii Nicolle & Manceaux, 1908

See also:

  • toxoplasmosis
  • Protista
  • protozoon
  • Reference(s):

    1 Olsen, O. (1986). Animal parasites: their life cycles and ecology. New York: Dover. p.168.


    You will also like...

    Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
    Insects

    There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

    Human Reproduction
    Human Reproduction

    Humans are capable of only one mode of reproduction, i.e. sexual reproduction. Haploid sex cells (gametes) are produced ..

    Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
    Animal Growth Hormones

    Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..

    Lentic community
    Freshwater Communities & Lentic Waters

    Lentic or still water communities can vary greatly in appearance -- from a small temporary puddle to a large lake. The s..

    green plant cells
    Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

    Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

    Buttress roots
    Roots

    This study guide tackles plant roots in greater detail. It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structur..