Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2008
Publication Date: 8/30/2008
Citation: Pas, A., Dubey, J.P. 2008. Toxoplasmosis in sand fox (vulpus rueppellii). Journal of Parasitology. 94:976-977.
Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and from United Arab Emirates report fatal toxoplasmosis in sand fox for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a sand fox (Vulpes rueppelli) from United Arab Emirates. Toxoplasma gondii-like tachyzoites were found associated with necrosis in intestine, spleen, liver, pancreas, lungs, mesenteric lymph nodes, and the heart. Ttachyzoites reacted positively with T. gondii-specific polyclonal antibodies. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in 8 captive Vulpes rueppelli assayed by the modified direct agglutination test in titers of 1: 800 or higher.