Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2003
Publication Date: 6/20/2003
Citation: DUBEY, J.P., VENTURINI, M.C., VENTURINI, L., PISCOPO, M., GRAHAM, D.H., DAHL, E., SREEKUMAR, C., VIANNA, M.C., LEHMANN, T. 2003. ISOLATION AND GENOTYPING OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM FREE RANGING CHICKENS FROM ARGENTINA. JOURNAL OF PARASITOLOGY. 89:1063-1064. Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is common in man and animals. Humans become infected by eating undercooked infected meat or ingesting the resistant stage of Toxoplasma (oocysts) in the environment. Infections in free range-range chickens is indicative of Toxoplasma infection in the environment because chickens feed from the ground. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, report isolation and molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii strains from free-range chickens from Argentina for the first time. These results will be of interest to public health workers, parasitologists and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free- ranging chickens can be considered a good indicator of the prevalence of T. gondii oocysts in the environment because chickens feed from the ground. In the present study, prevalence of T. gondii in 29 free- range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from Argentina was investigated. Blood, heart, and brain from each animal were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii, assayed with the modified agglutination test (MAT), were found in 19 of 29 (65.5%) chickens. Hearts and brains of seropositive (MAT ¿1:5) chickens were bioassayed in mice. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from 9 of 19 seropositive chickens. Genotyping of these isolates using the SAG2 locus indicated that 1 was type I, 1 was type II, and 7 were type III. This is the first report of isolation of T. gondii from chickens from Argentina.