School of Biological Sciences Seminar Series

The molecular dissection of host manipulation by chronic Toxoplasma gondii”


Simona Seizova


Tonkin Laboratory Professional Development Rep., Walter and Eliza Student Association The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research VICTORIA

Time & Place

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in Rehua 329

All are welcome


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that can infect birds and mammals, including humans. The parasites develops a chronic drug resistant infection and becomes a reservoir for disease reactivation, which results in blindness, encephalitis and death. Acute-stage parasites extensively manipulate their host cell by exporting a repertoire of proteins across the parasite vacuole. This interferes with the hosts transcriptional program, allowing for persistence during immune attack. However, it is unknown how the chronic-stage persists and what role host manipulation plays in latency. Here I show that chronic infection drastically alters the host’s transcriptional program which is dependent on the export of parasite proteins. Furthermore, I demonstrate that protein export by the parasites is critical to protect infected host cells from undergoing cell death and enabling parasite persistence. This work provides the first evidence of the mechanisms used by latent Toxoplasma for long-term survival, and identifies a potential drug target for the clearance of chronic Toxoplasma infection.

Introduced by Ashley Garrill