Department of Occupational Biohazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland Department of Pathomorphology, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
The presence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies in a high titer of 1:8,000 was found in 2 out of 9 examined rabbits (22.2%), kept on a farm where cases of human toxoplasmosis were noted. A virulent Toxoplasma gondii strain was isolated in mice from the brain of a seropositive rabbit that showed clinical signs of disease: apathy, weight loss, skin lesions. The presence of T. gondii DNA in the peritoneal exudate of mice inoculated with the brain suspension of the dissected rabbit was confirmed by the positive results of PCR test. No toxoplasmas were found in mice inoculated with suspensions of other organs of the examined rabbit (liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, skeletal muscles). In the sections of the rabbit’s brain the typical cysts of Toxoplasma gondii were found, filled with bradyzoites. On the basis of strain isolation and microscopic findings, toxoplasmosis of the central nervous system was diagnosed in the rabbit. The results of this study suggest that rabbits should be considered as a potential source of Toxoplasma infection among agricultural workers.