U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Vector-Borne And Zoonotic Diseases 12(1) 2012; DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0705


Despite extensive worldwide surveillance in populations of both people and wildlife, relatively little is known about Toxoplasma gondii ecology in the circumpolar north. Many northern animals and people demonstrate exposure to T. gondii, but the apparent low densities of domestic or wild felids suggest that additional transmission mechanisms are responsible for T. gondii persistence in high latitudes, whether remote source (from another region), vertical, or dietary. People in these northern communities who practice subsistence hunting might have an increased infection risk due to traditional food preparation techniques and frequent handling of wild game. Recent advances in T. gondii genotyping, understanding of host–parasite relationships, and increased human and wildlife surveillance will help to address knowledge gaps about parasite evolution, distribution, and abundance throughout the Arctic and Subarctic.