Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2008
Publication Date: 9/5/2008
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Mansfield, K., Hall, B., Kwok, O.C., Thulliez, P. 2008. Seroprevalence of neospora caninum and toxoplasma gondii in black-tailed deer (odocoileus hemionus columbianus) and mule deer (odocoileus hemionus hemionus). Veterinary Parasitology. 156:310-313.
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. In the present paper scientists from BARC and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife report prevalence of Toxoplasma and a related parasite, Neospora in mule deer and black tailed deer for the first time.. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Deer are considered important intermediate hosts for the coccidian parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Antibodies to N. caninum and T. gondii were determined in sera of 42 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) and 43 black tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) from the Washington state, USA, using the direct agglutination tests with specific antigens. A titer of 1:25 was considered diagnostic for both parasites. N. caninum antibodies were found in 7 of 42 mule deer and 8 of 43 black tailed deer. T. gondii antibodies were found in 14 black tailed deer but not in any of the mule deer. This is probably the first report of seroprevalence of N. caninum in these hosts.