Acute toxoplasmosis and antioxidant levels in the liver, kidney and brain of rats
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Toxoplasma gondii is a common protozoan parasite which causes toxoplasmosis worldwide. There are limited treatment options against T. gondii infection. Once transmitted, T. gondii can spread to many organs in the body, including the brain, liver and kidneys. One of the most common signs of toxoplasmosis is a rise in oxidative stress. Therefore, our aim was to determine the antioxidant levels in the brain, liver and kidney of rats infected with this parasite. In the present study, 2–4-months old Wistar albino rats were infected intraperitoneally with 1 x 104 mL of RH strain of T. gondii dispersed in 0.9% NaCl. Post-infection after 30 days, the experiment was terminated, the rats were sacrified, and the blood, brain, liver and kidney tissues were collected for analyses. Catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels were determined by ELISA assay. Increased SOD and GSH-Px levels were found in the liver of infected rats compared to controls; however, similar changes were not observed in other tested organs. These results suggest the increased oxidative stress caused by T. gondii infection can be efficiently alleviated, at least in the liver, by increased levels of antioxidant enzymes during post-infection. Further research will be required to determine the potential mechanisms of increasing antioxidant levels in the liver at 30 days post-infection, as well as the potential differences in antioxidant enzyme levels during the acute and chronic phases of toxoplasmosis.