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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE DETECTION AND CONTROL OF FOODBORNE PARASITES AND THE IMPACT ON FOOD SAFETY

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases

Title: Seroprevalence and correlates of Toxoplasma gondii infection in domestic pigs in Veracruz State, Mexico

Authors
item Alvarado-Esquivel, C -
item Romero-Salas, D -
item Garci-Vazquez, Z -
item Crivelli-Diaz, M -
item Barrientos-Morales, M -
item Lopez-De-Buen, L -
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Tropical Animal Health and Production
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 29, 2014
Publication Date: February 9, 2014
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Romero-Salas, D., Garci-Vazquez, Z., Crivelli-Diaz, M., Barrientos-Morales, M., Lopez-De-Buen, L., Dubey, J.P. 2014. Seroprevalence and correlates of Toxoplasma gondii infection in domestic pigs in Veracruz State, Mexico. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 46:705-709.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease and a major food safety and public health issue. Humans become infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii by eating undercooked infected meat or by ingesting food or water contaminated with oocyst excreted by cats. Among the food animals, infected pork is considered a major source of infection. In the present paper that 182 (45.3%) of the 402 pigs from Veracruz State, Mexico had antibodies to T. gondii. Results indicate that backyard pigs in Veracruz have the highest seroprevalence of T. gondii infection. Because there is no testing for this parasite of pigs at slaughter there is no way to distinguish infected from uninfected pork. These findings are of interest because of international trade. These results will be of interest to parasitologists and biologists. For public safety all meat should be cooked thoroughly before human consumption.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii infection in pigs has epidemiological concern for its contributing role in human infections. We determined seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in 402 domestic pigs raised in backyards in Veracruz State, Mexico using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25); 182 (45.3%) of the 402 pigs were seropositive with MAT titers of 1:25 in 28, 1:50 in 22, 1:100 in 18, 1:200 in 30, 1:400 in 35, 1:800 in 23, 1:1600 in 11, and 1:3200 or higher in 15. Seropositive pigs were found in 137 (53.3%) of 257 homes in all 7 municipalities surveyed. Multivariate analysis showed that T. gondii seropositivity in pigs was associated with altitude (<50 meters above sea level) (OR = 35.56; 95% CI: 7.67-164.87; P<0.001), and tropical-humid climate (OR =4.32; 95% CI: 1.47-12.62; P=0.007) of the raising municipalities, feeding with leftovers (OR = 2.83; 95% CI: 1.01-7.91; P=0.04), storing pig food in the owner home (OR = 2.39; 95% CI: 1.09-5.22; P=0.02) and free ranging (OR = 3.48; 95% CI: 1.49-8.15; P=0.003). Results indicate that backyard pigs in Veracruz have the highest seroprevalence of T. gondii infection obtained by MAT in pigs studied in Mexico so far. The correlates of T. gondii infection found in the present study may be useful for an optimal planning of preventive measures against T. gondii infection in pigs. Results also remark the risk of T. gondii infection in humans by ingestion of raw or undercooked pork in Mexico.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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