Three cases of symptomatic toxoplasmic lymphadenitis, together with a serologic profile of recent infection, are described, for which quantitative real-time PCR (LightCycler PCR) targeting different parasite genes was designed, in order to quantify Toxoplasma gondii DNA in acute and follow-up blood specimens. Similar parasite gene kinetics and DNA concentrations were observed in the patients studied. However, the profile of each target gene investigated was different. While the level of B1 DNA remained elevated for the entire time of observation, irrespective of clinical and serologic resolution, the SAG-1 gene was detected at the end of acute symptomatic disease, overlapping with a strong anti-T. gondii IgA antibody response, and persisting for over 3 months after infection and clinical recovery. With respect to the two bradyzoite genes investigated (SAG-4 and MAG-1), levels peaked during the symptomatic phase, but did not fall until 2 or 3 months of follow up. The real-time PCR assay with new alternative targets to the B1 gene may have potential for monitoring the clinical outcome of disease and for providing molecular information regarding the actual state of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)