Volume 29, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



was isolated from 3.5% of 202 , 12.5% of 120 , 16% of 106 sparrows (), and from 54% of 50 chickens from Costa Rica. The infection rate in chickens increased from 23% in those weighing less than 500 g, to 73% in those between 500 and 1,000 g, indicating a rapid rate of acquiring infection, probably from the soil in which they constantly search for food. No isolates were made from , or from four genera of roaches caught in the wild. However, was isolated from four of 16 lots of earthworms. Most strains of isolated from Costa Rican cats produced chronic latent infections in mice. However, even when infected with virulent strains, mice died at a time when numerous bradyzoites had been formed. Also, the availability of bradyzoites in chickens 8–10 days after ingestion of oocysts was comparable to that in mice. Therefore, several infected prey species are available as intermediate hosts to cats, providing the bradyzoites essential for the shedding of large numbers of oocysts. The isolation of from earthworms or the soil associated with them illustrates their possible role as transport hosts to infect chickens and other birds feeding on them. The possible role of other transport hosts could not be confirmed.


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