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Title: Toxoplasma gondii infection in Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana)

item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Pas, A. 2008. Toxoplasma gondii infection in blanford's fox (vulpes cana). Veterinary Parasitology. 153:147-151.

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 Blanford fox for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) from the United Arab Emirates. Toxoplasma gondii-like tachyzoites were found associated with necrosis in intestine, spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, skeletal muscle, brain and heart. Protozoal tachyzoites reacted positively with T. gondii-specific polyclonal antibodies. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in 10 of 13 Vulpes cana assayed by the latex agglutination or the modified direct agglutination test.