The Biological Resources Center for (BRC) Toxoplasma is a structure that manages the storage of Toxoplasma gondii strains and strain derivatives from human or animal toxoplasmosis to make them available to the scientific community.
The BRC Toxoplasma works through a network of correspondents who send isolates to the parasitology departments of Reims and Limoges University hospitals (France).
The managers are Pr Isabelle VILLENA (Reims) and Pr Marie-Laure DARDE (Limoges). The biological resources are stored in the cryobanks located in both sites.
The objectives of the BRC Toxoplasma are:
– The heritage conservation of strains and strains derivatives
– The support for research projects thanks to the characterization of strains
– Diversification of the geographical and host species origin of parasite strains by collecting isolates from research teams at a national and international level.
Toxoplasma gondii strains and their derivatives (DNA) are available at the request of researchers or industrialists. The order is made via the website of the BRC where a catalog of well-characterized strains is available.
Each request is examined by a scientific council, and the biological resources are sent after approval. The BRC team also provides advices to researchers to help them find the suitable strains for their scientific project.
The BRC Toxoplasma is certified according to the standard NF S96-900.
The biobank has more than 1000 strains from different hosts (humans or animals) and from different countries around the world. Strains of human origin are accompanied by clinical data.
The online catalog currently offers 39 strains: reference strains (RH, Me49, PRU, VEG), strains selected for their belonging to the 16 haplogroups currently described for Toxoplasma gondii, very atypical strains from the Amazonian forest. For 21 of them, the complete genome is available via ToxoDB and genomic analysis has been published in Lorenzi et al. Nature Communications 2016.
These strains are available to the research community as tachyzoites suspensions obtained in cell culture (8.106 / cryotubes) and as cysts in mouse’s brain suspensions.