A stable efficacious Toxoplasma vaccine

A stable efficacious Toxoplasma vaccine

The opportunity

  • Toxoplasma infection causes huge livestock losses 
  • The current vaccine has limitations and is not approved for use in Australia
  • Our vaccine strain is genetically defined and prevents both acute and chronic infection

Toxoplasma infection, caused by ingestion of food contaminated with infected cat faeces, leads to huge losses of livestock from abortion
(particularly in sheep), and results in chronic infection due to formation of tissue cysts. Ingestion of meat containing cysts transmits the

Currently there is no treatment for chronic infection and the existing agricultural vaccine is not approved for use in many markets,
including Australia. 


Toxoplasma infection diagram

The technology

We have developed a genetically defined attenuated Toxoplasma mutant that cannot regulate its carbohydrate storage, resulting in hyperaccumulation of starch, which renders it unable to form persistent cysts or chronic infection. This strain is an excellent vaccine candidate strain as it can produce short-lived cysts and elicit a complete immune response in the host.

Animals infected with our strain show no evidence of toxicity indicating the strain is safe.

Opportunities for partnership 

The opportunity is to develop a stable, safe and efficacious vaccine for toxoplasmosis that can be used to prevent livestock abortion.

We have:

  • A safe Toxoplasma strain, with easily scalable growth, for vaccine development
  • A PCT application: parasite vaccine 
  • An exceptional team with expertise in Toxoplasma biology

We are seeking a partner to:

  • Co-develop a novel livestock vaccine, assist with veterinary trials and advise on regulatory issues 
  • Commercialise and market this novel vaccine for toxoplasmosis in livestock

Scientific team

Associate Professor Chris Tonkin, Laboratory Head, Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division


Dr Anne-Laure Puaux, Head, Biotechnology and Commercialisation

Phone: +61 3 9345 2175 

Email: partnering@wehi.edu.au