Cerebral toxoplasmosis

Anita A. Koshy, Tajie H. Harris, Melissa B. Lodoen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Toxoplasma gondii’s success as a parasite is, in part, driven by the parasite’s ability to establish a persistent infection in select organs, which in humans includes the brain, the heart, and skeletal muscle. This tropism for and persistence in the brain underlies T. gondii’s ability to pass between intermediate hosts and to cause devastating neurologic disease in those with underdeveloped immune responses or who acquire a severe immunodeficiency. The goal of this chapter is to review our mechanistic understanding of cerebral toxoplasmosis, which by necessity, arises from studies in human and rodent cells in vitro and in rodent models, primarily the mouse, in vivo. Here we review how the parasite disseminates into the brain, including cross the blood-brain-barrier; which areas and cells in the brain are infected; and the role of parenchymal cells and infiltrating immune cells in ultimately controlling cerebral toxoplasmosis. Finally, we review the potential for this persistent infection to affect neurophysiology and host behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationToxoplasma Gondii
Subtitle of host publicationThe Model Apicomplexan - Perspectives and Methods
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780128150412
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Astrocyte
  • Blood-brain-barrier
  • Brain
  • CNS
  • Effector T cells
  • IFN-γ
  • Microglia
  • Monocytes
  • Neuron
  • Regulatory T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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