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Serum metabolic profiling of oocyst-induced Toxoplasma gondii acute and chronic infections in mice using mass-spectrometry

Zhou, Chun-Xue; Cong, Wei; Chen, Xiao-Qing; He, Shen-Yi; Elsheikha, Hany M.; Zhu, Xing-Quan


Chun-Xue Zhou

Wei Cong

Xiao-Qing Chen

Shen-Yi He

Xing-Quan Zhu


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite causing severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals and congenitally infected neonates, such as toxoplasmosis encephalitis and toxoplasmic chorioretinitis. This study aimed to determine whether serum metabolic profiling can (i) identify metabolites associated with oocyst-induced T. gondii infection and (ii) detect systemic metabolic differences between T. gondii -infected mice patients and controls. We performed the first global metabolomics analysis of mice serum challenged with 100 sporulated T. gondii Pru oocysts (Genotype II). Sera from acutely infected mice (11 days post-infection, dpi), chronically infected mice (33 dpi) and control mice were collected and analysed using LC-MS/MS platform. Following False Discovery Rate filtering, we identified 3871 and 2825 ions in ESI + or ESI − mode, respectively. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS -DA) identified metabolomics profiles that clearly differentiated T. gondii -infected and -uninfected serum samples. Acute infection significantly influenced the serum metabolonme. Our results identified common and uniquely perturbed metabolites and pathways. Acutely infected mice showed perturbations in metabolites associated with glycerophospholipid metabolism, biosynthesis of amino acid, and tyrosine metabolism. These findings demonstrated that acute T. gondii oocyst induces a global perturbation of mice serum metabolonme, providing new insights into the mechanisms underlying systemic metabolic changes during early stage of T. gondii oocyst infection.


Zhou, C., Cong, W., Chen, X., He, S., Elsheikha, H. M., & Zhu, X. (2018). Serum metabolic profiling of oocyst-induced Toxoplasma gondii acute and chronic infections in mice using mass-spectrometry. Frontiers in Microbiology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2017
Publication Date Jan 4, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2018
Journal Frontiers in Microbiology
Electronic ISSN 1664-302X
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Toxoplasma gondii, oocyst, LC-MS/MS, metabolomics, mouse model
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Additional Information This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.


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