Sexual recombination and clonal evolution of virulence in Toxoplasma

Michael E. Grigg, Yasuhiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Citations (SciVal)


The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is endemic worldwide. For such a widespread pathogen that has few geographic or host boundaries, it possess an unexpected population structure comprised principally of three clonally propagated lineages. The origin and the evolutionary dynamics of these three lines are unclear. Recent population genetic analyses suggest that a meiotic recombination between two discrete gene pools produces a pandemic outbreak of three super-successful lines, which have recently come to dominate most other strains worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank John Boothroyd for many helpful discussions, and Todd Margolis, Marie-Laure Dardé, Tovi Lehmann and David Sibley for providing parasite DNA. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health Research (AI47730 to YS) and NSERC (MEG). M.E.G. is a scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


  • Clonality
  • Evolution
  • Recombination
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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