Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infections by the protozoan (single-celled) parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widespread in livestock. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children and abortion in livestock. The ingestion of uncooked infected meat is considered an important source of the infection for humans. Pigs are considered an important meat source of T. gondii for humans. The rate of congenital T. gondii infection in pigs is not known. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and a University in Argentina found a low rate (15 of 738) of T. gondii infection in stillborn pigs in Argentina. These results suggests that T. gondii is an important cause of stillborn in pigs. These results will be useful to veterinarians, hog farmers and parasitologists.
Fetal fluids from 738 stillborn piglets from 3 swine farms in Argentina were examined for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii. Antibodies were detected in 15 samples at a 1:20 dilution in the indirect fluorescent antibody test and 10 samples were positive in the modified agglutination test (MAT) at a dilution of 1:25; 4 of these samples had a MAT titer of ò1:100. This survey indicates a low rate of congenital T. gondii infectio in stillborn pigs in Argentina.