Observations on bradyzoite biology

Vincent Tu, Rama Yakubu, Louis M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Tachyzoites of the Apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii cause acute infection, disseminate widely in their host, and eventually differentiate into a latent encysted form called bradyzoites that are found within tissue cysts. During latent infection, whenever transformation to tachyzoites occurs, any tachyzoites that develop are removed by the immune system. In contrast, cysts containing bradyzoites are sequestered from the immune system. In the absence of an effective immune response released organisms that differentiate into tachyzoites cause acute infection. Tissue cysts, therefore, serve as a reservoir for the reactivation of toxoplasmosis when the host becomes immunocompromised by conditions such as HIV infection, organ transplantation, or due to the impaired immune response that occurs when pathogens are acquired in utero. While tachyzoites and bradyzoites are well defined morphologically, there is no clear consensus on how interconversion occurs or what exact signal(s) mediate this transformation. Advances in research methods have facilitated studies on T. gondii bradyzoites providing important new insights into the biology of latent infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-476
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Bradyzoite
  • Cyst wall
  • Differentiation
  • Latent infection
  • Metabolism
  • Toxoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Observations on bradyzoite biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this