Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/2008
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Bhatia, C., Ferreira, L., Thorn, A., Kwok, O.C. 2009. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in cats from Pennsylvania. Journal of Parasitology. 95:578-580.
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 a Humane Society in Pennsylvania l report prevalence of Toxoplasma in cats.. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: The prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was determined in sera from 122 domestic cats from Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Using a modified agglutination test, antibodies to this parasite were found in 25 (20.4%) of the 122 cats with titers of 1:25 in 1, 1:50 in 4, 1:100 in 6, 1:200 in 3, 1:400 in 2, 1:800 in 4, 1:1,600 in 3, and 1: 3,200 or higher in 2. Seroprevalence increased with age of the cat; 3 of 50 (6 %) were seropositive compared with 22 of 72 (30.5%) older than 11mo. Overall, the seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in cats in this population is much lower compared with those reported in other localities in the USA and other countries.