Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of humans and livestock. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally-infected children. Cats, not only domestic but all members of the Felidae are the only hosts that can excrete, in their feces, the environmentally resistant stage (oocyst) of Toxoplasma. Humans and animals can become infected by ingesting food or water contaminated with oocysts from cat feces. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Service and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil found antibodies to T. gondii in 26.3% of 502 cats from streets of Sao Paulo City, Sao Paulo, Brazil. These results will be of interests to biologists, parasitologists and public health workers.
Technical Abstract: Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were determined in serum samples of 502 domestic cats from Brazil by the modified agglutination test (MAT), using formalin-fixed whole tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol. Antibodies (MAT ³ 1:20) were found in 132 (26.3%) of 502 cats. With respect to origin, antibodies were found in 26.7% of 430 stray cats from Sao Paulo, 10% of 40 stray cats from Guarulhos and 40.6% of 32 cats from a cat breeder in Sao Paulo. Antibody titers were: 1:20 in 10 cats, 1:25 in 40 cats, 1:50 in 73 cats, and ³ 1:500 in 9 cats. Exposure rates of T. gondii in cats from S o Paulo, Brazil are similar to that in domestic cats in North America.