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The allelic combination of ROP18/ROP5 genes of Toxoplasma gondii has been shown to be highly predictive of mouse virulence in canonical isolates and strains. The aims of this study were to analyze the alleles present in the ROP18/ROP5 genes from T. gondii isolates obtained in Argentina, to associate the results with the virulence registered in mouse model, and to compare with other isolates and reference strains using a phylogenetic network. Fourteen T. gondii isolates from Argentina were analyzed by nPCR-RFLP for ROP18/ROP5. Phylogenetic network analysis was inferred using the ToxoDB genotypes and the ROPs molecular markers. All isolates and reference strains were categorized as lethal or non-lethal. As results, combinations 2/2, 3/3 and 4/3 for ROP18/ROP5 were detected in 12 isolates, whereas only alleles 1 and 2 of ROP5 were detected in 2 isolates. The majority of the isolates had a mouse virulence matching to that predicted by the ROP18/ROP5 allele combination. The 3 isolates that differed from the expected virulence presented non-clonal genotypes. ROPs incorporation increased the accuracy of the phylogenetic network relations among the T. gondii samples, prevailing the clustering according to regions. Our results indicate a predominance of type 3 allele in both ROP18 and ROP5 markers and an association of allelic profiles 3/3 and 4/3 of non-clonal genotypes from Argentina, both with virulent and avirulent profiles in mice. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


M Bernstein, L Pardini, B Bello Pede Castro, J M Unzaga, M C Venturini, G Moré. ROP18 and ROP5 alleles combinations are related with virulence of T. gondii isolates from Argentina. Parasitology international. 2021 Aug;83:102328

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PMID: 33713809

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