Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2008
Publication Date: 12/30/2008
Citation: Sharma, S., Sandhu, K.S., Bal, M.S., Kumar, H., Verma, S., Dubey, J.P. 2008. Serological survey of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in sheep, cattle, and buffaloes in Punjab, India. Journal of Parasitology. 94:1174-1175.
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 an university in India report prevalence of Toxoplasma in livestock in India. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Sera from 186 sheep, 83 cattle, and 103 water buffaloes from Punjab, India were evaluated for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using a commercial ELISA kit. This study was planned using a 2-stage random sampling procedure employing sampling software ‘survey toolbox’. In the first step, villages were selected randomly from a sampling frame of all the villages of Punjab, followed by selection of owners and animals in the second step. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 7 of 186 sheep, 2 of 83 cattle, and 3 of 103 buffaloes. Results indicate a low prevalence of T. gondii in ruminants tested.