Courtesy of DPDx

Life Cycle

T. gondii primarily exists in three forms: oocysts, tachyzoites, and bradyzoites. Oocysts are only produced in the definitive host, members of the family Felidae. When passed in feces and then ingested, the oocysts can infect humans and other intermediate hosts. They develop into tachyzoites, which are the rapidly multiplying trophozoite form of T. gondii. They divide rapidly in cells, causing tissue destruction and spreading the infection. Tachyzoites in pregnant women are capable of infecting the fetus. Eventually tachyzoites localize to muscle tissues and the CNS where they convert to tissue cysts, or bradyzoites. This is thought to be a response to the host immune reaction. Ingestion of cysts in contaminated meat is also a source of infection, as bradyzoites transform back into tachyzoites upon entering a new host.

John and Petri.
Cohen and Powderly.



Last Update: 24 May 2006