Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 3, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infections by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widely prevalent in livestock and man. Humans become infected mainly by ingesting tissue cysts of T. gondii from uncooked infected meat or by ingesting food and water contaminated with the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite excreted in the feces of infected cats. Birds and rodents are an important source of infection for cats. The prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-ranging chickens is a good indicator of soil contamination by T. gondii oocysts because birds feed on soil. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Veterinary College, Madras, India found for the first time 39.5% of 185 free ranging chickens from India to have antibodies to T. gondii. These findings will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists and public health workers.
Serum samples from 185 chickens (Gallus gallus) collected from the various slaughter markets in and around Madras City, India were examined for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test incorporating mercaptoethanol. Antibodies (ò1:25) to T. gondii were found in 39.5% of sera. Antibody titers of individual sera (% in parenthesis) were 1:25 (8.1%), 1:50 (10.8%), 1:100 (6.5%), 1:200 (2.7%), 1:400 (4.3%), 1:800 (5.9%) 1:1,600 (0.5%), and 1:3,200 (0.5%).