|St. Onge, S|
Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii is widely prevalent in humans and animals. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoirs of infection because they are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally resistant Toxoplasma (oocysts) in their feces. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University at St. Hyacinthe, Canada have found Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in 44% of lynx (Lynx rufus). These cats probably had already shed oocysts in the environment. These results will be of interest to public health workers, veterinarians and wildlife biologists.
Technical Abstract: The seroprevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was investigated in trapped lynx (Lynx canadensis) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Quebec, Canada. Forty-seven of 106 (44%) lunx and 4 of 10 (40%) bobcats had positive titers for T. gondii (1:25) by means of the modified agglutination test incorporating mercaptocthanol and formalin-fixed tachyzoites. Seroprevalence was significantly higher (P 0.0001) in adult lynx than in juvenile lynx. The presence of antibodies to T. gondii in lynx and bobcats suggests that this organism is widespread in the wild and that exposure to wild felids and game animals from Quebec may represent a potential source of infection for humans.