Cyst Rupture as a Pathogenic Mechanism of Toxoplasmic Encephalitis

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  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Kansas City, Kansas 66103, Republic of Panama

Seemingly intact cysts and sequential stages of disintegrating cysts of Toxoplasma were identified immunohistologically within developing microglial nodules in a Panamanian night monkey (Aotus lemurinus). This monkey had been successfully immunized and challenged 5 months earlier. This supports the hypothesis that glial nodules unassociated with Toxoplasma tachyzoites may represent the tombstone of a Toxoplasma cyst. Disintegration of cysts may give rise to clinical encephalitis in the presence of apparently adequate immunity.

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