Cerebral Toxoplasmosis

This section discusses animal models available for toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) as the predominant manifestation of the disease in the immunocom-promised host. It also includes acute systemic models where disseminated infection is prominent and where the brain is usually involved as a part of this. The by far most often used animal for acute or cerebral toxoplasmosis studies, particularly with respect to pharmacological testing, as indicated by numerous publications, is the mouse (for examples, see Perea and Daza, 1976; Grossman and Remington, 1979; Chang and Pechere, 1987; Hofflin and Remington, 1987a, 1987b; Chang et al., 1988, 1991, 1994; Israelski and Remington, 1990; Derouin et al, 1991, 1992; Araujo et al., 1991a, 1992a, 1992b, 1996, 1998; Weiss et al., 1992; Rodriguez-Diaz et al., 1993; Romand et al., 1993, 1995, 1996; Alder et al., 1994; Dumas et al., 1994, 1999; Olliaro et al., 1994; Khan et al., 1996, 2000; Martinez et al., 1996; Aguirre-Cruz and Sotelo, 1998; Aguirre-Cruz et al., 1998; Sordet et al., 1998; Djurkovic-Djakovic et al., 1999, 2002, 2005; Moshkani and Dalimi, 2000; Scholer et al., 2001; Ferreira et al., 2002; Degerli et al., 2003; Belal et al., 2004; Dunay et al., 2004; Lescano et al., 2004; Grujic et al., 2005; Ling et al., 2005).

For some purposes hamsters (Frenkel et al., 1975; Gormley et al., 1998) or rats (Foulet et al., 1994; Dubey, 1996; De Champs et al., 1997; Kempf et al., 1999; Zenner et al., 1999b; Freyre et al., 2001b, 2003b, 2004) have been used, but usually not for drug evaluation. Models are based on a primary acute infection of the animals, on direct inoculation of the parasite into the animal brain with or without immunosuppression, or on a chronic infection of the animal that may be immunosuppressed (for example with immunosuppressive drugs or radiation, antibodies directed against lymphocytes or cytokines, or concomitant infections with viruses that modulate the immunosystem) (see Tables 7.5 and 7.6). For certain applications, the use of genetically modified mice with various defects in their immune system may also be an option. In general, the acute and strictly localized models have most often been used to evaluate the treatment efficacy of antiparasitic drugs, whereas the chronic infection models have been used to study their influence on cyst formation and/or prevention of a relapsing disease.

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