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Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-736X


BONAPAZ, Rubia dos Santos et al. Effects of infection with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts on the intestinal wall and the myenteric plexus of chicken (Gallus gallus). Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.9, pp.787-792. ISSN 0100-736X.

This paper aims to analyze the effects of the Toxoplasma gondii infection in the intestinal wall and myenteric plexus of chicken (Gallus gallus). Ten 36-day-old chickens were separated into two groups: control and experimental, orally inoculated with oocysts of the T. gondii strain M7741 genotype III. After 60 days the birds were submitted to euthanasia and had their duodenum removed. Part of the intestinal segments was submitted to histological routine, HE staining, PAS histochemical technique, and Alcian Blue. Qualitative analysis of the intestinal wall and comparative measurements among the groups with respect to total wall thickness, muscle tunic, mucosa, and tunica mucosa were carried out. Caliciform cells were quantified. The other part of the intestinal segments was fixed in formol acetic acid and dissected having the tunica mucosa and the tela submucosa removed. Neurons were stained with Giemsa, counted, and measured. Chickens from the experimental group presented diarrhea and inflammatory infiltrates in the tunica mucosa, thickness reduction of all the parameters assessed in the intestinal wall, and an increase of the number of caliciform cells. There was a ~70% reduction regarding the intensity of myenteric neurons; and the remaining cells presented a reduction of ~2.4% of the perikarion and ~40.5% of the nucleus (p<0.05). Chronic infection induced by T. gondii oocysts resulted in intestinal wall atrophy, mucin secretion increase, death and atrophy of chicken myenteric plexus neurons. Death and atrophy of myenteric plexus neurons may be related with the causes of diarrhea observed in chickens with toxoplasmosis.

Keywords : Chicken; toxoplasmosis; duodenum; enteric nervous system; experimental infection.

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