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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma Gondii Antibodies in Captive Elephants (Elephaus Maximus Maximus) in Sri Lanka

Authors
item Dangolla, A - SRI LANKA
item Ekanayake, D - SRI LANKA
item Rajapakse, R P V J - SRI LANKA
item Dubey, Jitender
item Silva, J - SRI LANKA

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2006
Publication Date: April 30, 2006
Citation: Dangolla, A., Ekanayake, D.K., Rajapakse, R., Dubey, J.P., Silva, J.D. 2006. Seroprevalence of toxoplasma gondii antibodies in captive elephants (elephaus maximus maximus) in Sri Lanka. Veterinary Parasitology. 137:172-174.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts.Scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service and a University in Sri Lanka report toxoplasmosis in elephants for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Serum samples collected during August 2003- June 2004 from 45 privately owned captive and eight elephants from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage were tested for the presence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the direct modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies were found in sera of 14 of 45(32%) privately owned elephants with titers of 1: 25 in three 1: 50 in three, 1:100 in three, 1: 200 in three , and 1: 400 in three elephants. The elephants from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage were seronegative. This is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in elephants in Sri Lanka.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014