Fifty-nine ewes, seronegative to Toxoplasma gondii, were allocated to four groups which received 2000, 200, 20 or no M1 strain toxoplasma oocysts 56 days before mating. Fifty-one of them subsequently became pregnant and were challenged with 10,000 oocysts between 78 and 83 days of gestation. Infection with 2000 oocysts induced a pyrexia, seroconversion and protective immunity in all the recipient animals. Ewes that received either 20 or no oocysts before pregnancy were susceptible to subsequent challenge and severe fetal mortality occurred. In this study 200 oocysts was the threshold value for the induction of toxoplasma infection in sheep, although not all the ewes that seroconverted to this dose were protected against further challenge.
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