Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2002
Publication Date: 4/24/2002
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Saville, W.J., Stanek, J.F., Reed, S.M. 2002. Prevalence of toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic cats from rural Ohio. Journal of Parasitology 88:802-803. Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, are widely prevalent in humans and livestock. Toxoplasma causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally infected children and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoirs of Toxoplasma because they are the only hosts that can shed the environmentally-resistant stage of Toxoplasma (oocyst). Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio found antibodies to T. gondii in 48% of 275 cats from rural Ohio representing 8 counties. These results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, public health workers and farmers.
Technical Abstract: Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were determined in serum samples from 275 domestic cats from a mobile spay and neuter clinic from 8 counties in Ohio. The modified agglutination test incorporating whole formalinized tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol was used to determine antibodies. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 133 (48%) of 275 cats in titers of 1:25 in 24, 1:50 in 37, and 1:500 or more in 72 cats. The highest prevalence (62% of 78) was in outdoor cats. Prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in 47% of cats suggest widespread contamination of the rural environment by oocysts.