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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: High prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in dogs in Veracruz, Mexico

Authors
item Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme -
item Romero-Salas, Dora -
item Garcia-Vazquez, Zeferino -
item Cruz-Romero, Anabel -
item Ibarra-Priego, Nelly -
item Ahuja-Aguirre, Concepcion -
item Agular-Dominguez, Mariel -
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2014
Publication Date: August 20, 2014
Repository URL: http://doi:10.1186/s12917-014-0191-x
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Romero-Salas, D., Garcia-Vazquez, Z., Cruz-Romero, A., Ibarra-Priego, N., Ahuja-Aguirre, C., Agular-Dominguez, M., Perez De Leon, A.A., Dubey, J.P. 2014. High prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in dogs in Veracruz, Mexico. Veterinary Research. 10:191.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii an obligate, single-celled, protozoan parasite continues to be a major zoonotic health concern in human and veterinary medicine because it is capable of infecting any warm-blooded vertebrate intermediate host. As the definitive host, cats are fundamental in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Millions of oocysts can be excreted in the feces of a single cat and oocysts can survive outdoors for months. Viable T. gondii has been isolated from feces of naturally infected dogs, indicating that the dog can act as a mechanical vector following the ingestion of infected cat feces. Humans can also become infected by petting dogs that have rolled in cat feces. Because of their close association with humans dogs are considered good sentinel for environmental contamination with this parasite. In the present study authors found that 67% of 101 dogs from Veracruz State, Mexico had antibodies to T. gondii, indicating a very high level of environmental contamination with t. gondii. This study should be of interest veterinarians and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Little is known concerning the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in dogs in Mexico. Here, we investigated antibodies to T. gondii and associated risk factors in 101 dogs from an animal shelter in Veracruz State, Mexico. Canine sera were assayed for T. gondii IgG antibodies by using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25). Sixty eight (67.3%) of 101 dogs were seropositive with titers of 1:25 in 16, 1:50 in 8, 1:100 in 9, 1:200 in 10, 1:400 in 10, 1:800 in 10, 1:1600 in 3, and 1:3200 or higher in 2. None of the dogs’ characteristics studied including age, sex, breed, and history of deworming, rabies vaccination and contact with cats was associated with seroprevalence of T. gondii infection. Using the dogs as sentinel animals, the results indicate high contamination with T. gondii of the environment in Veracruz, Mexico. Results have public health implications, and further studies in Veracruz should be conducted to establish the sources of environmental contamination with T. gondii and to determine optimal preventive measures against T. gondii infection in humans.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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