A latent ability to persist: differentiation in Toxoplasma gondii

Victoria Jeffers, Zoi Tampaki, Kami Kim, William Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


A critical factor in the transmission and pathogenesis of Toxoplasma gondii is the ability to convert from an acute disease-causing, proliferative stage (tachyzoite), to a chronic, dormant stage (bradyzoite). The conversion of the tachyzoite-containing parasitophorous vacuole membrane into the less permeable bradyzoite cyst wall allows the parasite to persist for years within the host to maximize transmissibility to both primary (felids) and secondary (virtually all other warm-blooded vertebrates) hosts. This review presents our current understanding of the latent stage, including the factors that are important in bradyzoite induction and maintenance. Also discussed are the recent studies that have begun to unravel the mechanisms behind stage switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 30 2018


  • Bradyzoite
  • Differentiation
  • Encystation
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation
  • Immunity
  • Latency
  • Tachyzoite
  • Toxoplasma
  • Toxoplasmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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