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Title: Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in white tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) from Iowa and Minnesota using four serologic tests

item Dubey, Jitender
item Jenkins, Mark
item Kwok, Oliver
item ZINK, R
item ULRICH, V
item GILL, J

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Jenkins, M.C., Kwok, O.C., Zink, R.L., Michalski, M.L., Ulrich, V., Gill, J., Cartensen, M., Thulliez, P. 2009. Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in white-tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) from Iowa and Minnesota using four serologic tests. Veterinary Parasitology. 161:330-334.

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 an Univ. in Iowa and Minnesota Wildlife Deparment report prevalence of Toxoplasma and a related parasite, Neospora in white tailed deer . The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is considered one of the most important wildlife reservoir of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in the US. Sera from white-tailed deer from Minnesota and Iowa were tested for antibodies to N. caninum by four serologic tests including the indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test (cut-off 1:25), Neospora caninum agglutination test ( cut-off 1:25), an enzyme linked immunoabsorbent assay , and Western blot (WB). Sera were also tested for antibodies to T. gondii using the modified agglutination test (cut-off 1:25).Of 62 adult deer from Minnesota antibodies to T. gondii were found in 20 (32.2%), N. caninum in 44 (71%), with dual infections in 18 deer. Of 170 (73 fawns, 9 yearlings, 88 adults) deer from Iowa, T. gondii antibodies were present in 91 (53.5%) with 37.0%, 55.6%, 67.0% seropositivity in fawns, yearlings, and adults, respectively. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 150 of 170 (88.2%) by any of the 3 tests (99 by western blots, 108 by ELISA, 106 by IFA, and 118 by NAT). Dual infections with T. gondii and N. caninum were detected in 47 deer. Very high (84.9%) serpositivity of N. caninum in fawns suggests high rate of congenital transmission of the parasite. Seropositivity in each test at different titers is discussed.